Decision : 7 EXT.COM 4B.1
Working Methods of the world Heritage Committee

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Documents WHC-04/7 EXT.COM/4B and WHC-04/7 EXT.COM/4B.Add,

2. Recalling Decisions 28 COM 13.1 and 28 COM 14B.57, adopted at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004),

3. Confirms that the two complete nominations per State Party referred to in paragraph 17 a) of Decision 28 COM 13.1 are inclusive of nominations deferred and referred by previous sessions of the Committee, extensions (except minor modifications of limits of the properties), transboundary nominations and serial nominations; 4. Recalls its decision at its 6th Extraordinary session (UNESCO, 2003) requesting that, in undertaking their evaluation, the Advisory Bodies consult closely with States Parties submitting nominations to the World Heritage List, and requests the Advisory Bodies to forward by 31 January of each year, starting in 2006, any final question or requests for information that they may have after the examination of their evaluation;

5. Reminds the State Parties to the Convention of the deadline of 31 March of the year of examination of the nomination, to submit supplementary information to the Director of the World Heritage Centre, and decides to evaluate the viability of this date at its 30th session (2006);

6. Invites the concerned States Parties to send, at least two working days before the opening of its session, a letter to the Chairperson of that session, with copies to the Advisory Bodies, detailing the factual errors they might have identified in the evaluation of a nomination made by the Advisory Bodies. This letter will be distributed in the working languages to the Members of the Committee and may be read by the Chairperson, following the presentation of the evaluation referred to by the Advisory Bodies;

7. Requests the Bureau to ensure, starting from its 29th session (Durban, 2005), the strict application of the procedure detailed in Annex A to this decision regarding the elaboration of documents to be examined at each of its meetings;

8. Invites the Director of the World Heritage Centre, in consultation with the Advisory Bodies, to submit at its 29th session proposals on ways and means of optimizing the interrelation between the results of the Periodic Reporting cycles and the conclusions derived from the State of Conservation reports –in particular in order to ensure consistency and a better conservation of the sites;

9. Requests the Director of the World Heritage Centre to continue presenting the State of Conservation reports in one document, proposing clearly in such document the reports on the state of conservation that the Committee is invited to debate (“for adoption requiring discussion”) and those that the Committee is invited just to adopt without debate (“for adoption requiring no discussion”);

10. Also requests the Director of the World Heritage Centre, in consultation with the Advisory Bodies, to propose at its 29th session: • criteria to present State of Conservation reports before the Committee • criteria orienting the inclusion of a site in the category “for adoption requiring discussion” and the category “for adoption requiring no discussion”;

11. Invites the Director of the World Heritage Centre to use the existing mechanism effectively to ensure that the Committee only considers State of Conservation reports when a decision is required or at significant stages in the implementation of a decision previously taken by the Committee;

12. Encourages States Parties, in addition to current practices, to directly fill their State of Conservation reports electronically;

13. Decides, on an experimental basis and starting at its 29th session, to:
• continue the current practice of holding one annual ordinary session of the Committee, with the possibility of convening an extraordinary session if the number of non-examined items in the agenda of the session so justifies;
• establish, in accordance with Rule 21 of the Rules of Procedure, an open-ended subsidiary body on administrative and financial issues, which will work simultaneously with the plenary sessions; and

14. Also decides to examine the previous practice in the framework of the 1972 Convention and of other conventions regarding the constitution and operation of working groups – inter alia, in parallel with the plenary sessions at the times prescribed by them - and requests the Director of the World Heritage Centre to make recommendations on this matter at its 29th session;

15. Further decides to evaluate at its 31st session (2007) the impact of the measures detailed in the preceding paragraph on the time management of its work. This, in particular, with a view to consider additional improvements to its the working methods –including the setting-up of additional working groups;

16. Requests the Director of the World Heritage Centre to organize an orientation session for new Committee Members and new Heads of Delegation.

  • Advisory Bodies to forward their final questions regarding nominations

    Deadline: Friday, 31 December 2004
  • Deadline for States Parties to submit supplementary information

    Deadline: Thursday, 31 March 2005
  • New procedures in the elaboration of documents

    Status: Done
    Deadline: 29COM
  • Proposals on ways and means to optimize the interrelation between Periodic Reporting and SOC reports

    Status: On-going
    Deadline: 29COM
  • One annual session, and the possibility to hold an extraordinary session, and creation of an open-ended Subsidiary Body on administrative and financial matters

    Status: On-going
    Deadline: 29COM
  • Recommendations regarding the operation of working groups in various conventions

    Status: Done
    Deadline: 29COM
  • Impact of measures above-mentioned
Themes: Working methods and tools
Year: 2004
Decision Code: 7 EXT.COM 4B.1