Review of Procedures for Election of Members of the Committee
65. The Committee discussed the question of procedures for the election of members (document SC-88/CONF.001/11), the Secretariat having stressed that its suggestions were of a very preliminary nature.
66. As regards rotation of States Parties within the Committee, the Committee felt that the Secretariat's proposal was acceptable. However, some flexibility might be required, especially to take into account the preferences of States Parties within the same region. One member stressed that the principle of rotation was not a mechanical exercise and that it should be applied taking into account the varied technical qualifications that representatives of States Parties from all regions could bring to the Committee, which was an essentially technical body. He added that State Parties seeking a seat on the Committee should approach this matter with a sense of this responsibility. Several members also reiterated the suggestion made earlier that the Committee seek ways of financing the participation of competent representatives of the least developed countries, but stressed that strict criteria should be developed for this purpose.
67. With respect to equitable representation of the various regions and cultures within the Committee, it was felt that a first priority should be an increase in the number of States Members of the Committee. This might be the basis for a mechanism resulting in more equitable representation. Several suggestions as to this number were discussed and it was decided that the number of members could be increased to 36, following the example of the Intergovernmental Committee for the World Decade for Cultural Development, the membership of which reflects the present principles of representation for Committees of this kind within Unesco.
The observer from a State Party not currently a member of the Committee expressed his disagreement with the idea of a fixed number of seats for each region. He stressed that a certain number of States Parties could bring to bear on the tasks facing the Committee, apart from their rich cultural and natural heritage, a wealth of experience in the conservation of cultural and natural property.
68. The representative of the Director General reminded the Committee that increasing the number of members would imply a revision of the Convention pursuant to its Article 37. The Committee noted the protracted procedure for this purpose defined by the Rules of Procedure of the General Conference. However, it felt it highly desirable that the Secretariat examine means to reduce the length of this procedure. It was therefore decided to request the Secretariat to further study the matter of equitable representation of the various regions and cultures within the Committee, along the lines referred to above. In consultation with Unesco's Legal Adviser new proposals should be drafted and distributed to members of the Bureau for comment prior to discussion of this matter at the June 1989 session of the Bureau. Noting that the expansion of the Committee was likely to be a long process one member suggested that in accordance with Article 10 of the Convention, the Committee might also explore the idea of establishing a body in which a number of States Parties not members of the Committee might contribute more directly to the work of the Committee.