Committee Decisions

36 COM 7A.23.I

Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (C 148 rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-12/36.COM/7A.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 35 COM 7A.22, adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3. Recalling the relevant provisions on the protection of cultural heritage including the four Geneva Conventions (1949), the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict of 1954, the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage of 1972, the inscription of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls at the request of Jordan on the World Heritage List (1981) and on the List of World Heritage in Danger (1982), and the recommendations, resolutions and decisions of UNESCO,

4.  Reaffirming that nothing in the present decision, which aims at the safeguarding of the cultural heritage of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls, shall in any way affect the relevant United Nations resolutions and decisions, in particular the relevant Security Council resolutions on the legal status of Jerusalem,

5.  Affirming the importance of maintaining the integrity and authenticity in the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls on both sides,

6.  Affirms the necessity of cooperation to facilitate access to the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls, including heritage sites therein, in the context of the UNESCO Conventions for the protection of the cultural heritage, and recognizes the concerns expressed regarding the restricting obstacles imposed by the Israeli authorities on the freedom of access;

7. Thanks international donors for their generous contributions to the UNESCO Action Plan for the Safeguarding of the Cultural Heritage of the Old City of Jerusalem and both sides of its Walls, and calls upon the international donor community to further support, through extra-budgetary funding, activities aimed at the safeguarding of the integrity and authenticity of the cultural heritage of the Old City of Jerusalem and both sides of its Walls;

8. Requests the World Heritage Centre to make technical expertise and assistance available for the current and future conservation works foreseen in and around the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls, taking into consideration the activities foreseen in the context of the Action Plan, as needed;

9. Regrets the Israeli refusal to comply with the World Heritage Centre and UNESCO decisions and requests Israel to timely cooperate and facilitate the implementation of the World Heritage Committee Decision 34 COM 7A.20 which requests, inter alia, a joint World Heritage Centre/ICCROM/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls;

10.  Also regrets the persistence of the Israeli archaeological excavations and works in the Old City of Jerusalem and on both sides of its Walls, and the failure of Israel to provide the World Heritage Centre with adequate and comprehensive information about its archeological activities thereon, and asks the Israeli authorities to cease such excavations and works in conformity with the UNESCO Conventions for the protection of cultural heritage;

11. Asks in this regard, that the World Heritage Centre states in its relevant reports on the obstacles related to the provision of such information by the Israeli authorities and also requests the World Heritage Centre to play a proactive role;

12. Further requests the World Heritage Centre to apply the Reinforced monitoring mechanism to the Old City of Jerusalem and on both sides of its Walls, and also requests that the World Heritage Centre validates in a concrete manner the flow of information provided by the concerned parties on the ongoing activities in and around the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls;

13. Encourages the Director-General of UNESCO to take the necessary measures, in consultation and cooperation with the concerned parties, to reactivate and reinvigorate the implementation of the short-, medium- and long-term objectives of the Action Plan, including training, education and cultural activities, and the preservation of sites and monuments of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls as inscribed on the World Heritage List;

14. Thanks the Director-General of UNESCO and the World Heritage Centre for steps undertaken in the implementation of the Action Plan for the Safeguarding of the Cultural Heritage of the Old City of Jerusalem and further requests them to report on this matter and on the state of conservation of the property at its 37th session in 2013;  

15. Decides to retain the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Themes: Conservation, List of World Heritage in Danger, Reinforced Monitoring
Session: 36COM