The 9th US/ICOMOS International Symposium will convene to look once again at the World Heritage Convention and its List as a rich source of models to improve the protection and management of the vast heritage of the United States, as well as to share with others some of our more recent national, state and local initiatives and approaches that may be applicable to World Heritage sites, with a particular focus on World Heritage cities, but not to the exclusion of other categories of sites.

While the World Heritage List may seem like a tool for international cooperation exclusively for the sites inscribed in it, it really accomplishes more than that. By establishing minimum standards for significance, authenticity and management for all sites inscribed, the List also helps each country in developing the know-how needed to protect the full range of its cultural and natural resources, and in setting up paradigms that have broad national applicability.

The Symposium will also look at the participation of the United States in the World Heritage Convention in relation to other countries to identify ways in which US/ICOMOS and other US heritage organizations can support our official agencies in fulfilling our international cultural commitments to both the Convention and to UNESCO.