Committee Decisions

37 COM 7B.57

World Heritage properties of Syria

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7B.Add,

2.  Deplores the conflict situation prevailing in the country and the loss of human lives;

3.  Takes note of the report provided by the State Party regarding the state of conservation of the six Syrian World Heritage properties and expresses its utmost concern at the damage occurred and threats facing these properties;

4.  Considers that the optimal conditions are not present anymore to ensure the conservation and protection of the Outstanding Universal Value of the properties and that they are threatened by both ascertained and potential danger, in accordance with paragraphs 177 to 179 of the Operational Guidelines ;

5.  Decides to inscribe the Ancient City of Damascus, Ancient city of Bosra, Site of Palmyra, Ancient City of Aleppo, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din, and Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Syria) on the List of World Heritage in Danger;

6.  Launches an appeal to the neighbouring countries and to the international community to cooperate in fighting against the illicit trafficking of cultural properties coming from Syria;

7.  Urges all parties associated with the situation in Syria to refrain from any action that would cause further damage to cultural heritage of the country and to fulfil their obligations under international law by taking all possible measures to protect such heritage, in particular the safeguarding of World Heritage properties and those included in the Tentative List;

8.  Requests the State Party to invite the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to undertake a mission to Syria as soon as the security conditions permit in order to assess the state of conservation of the properties and elaborate, in consultation with the State Party, an action plan for their recovery;

9.  Also requests the State Party in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to prepare, as soon as the situation allows, the corrective measures as well as a Desired state of conservation for the removal of the properties from the List of World Heritage in Danger, once a return to stability is effective in the country;

10. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2014, a detailed report on the state of conservation of the World Heritage properties in Syria for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session in 2014;

11. Suggests the State Party to consider ratifying the Second Protocol (1999) of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Heritage during times of Armed Conflict;

12.  Requests the Director-General of UNESCO to consider the creation of a Special Fund aimed at the conservation of the World Heritage properties in Syria.

Themes: Conservation, List of World Heritage in Danger, Operational Guidelines, Outstanding Universal Value
States Parties: Syrian Arab Republic
Session: 37COM