Decision : 30 COM 13
Working Methods of the World Heritage Committee

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-06/30.COM/13,

2. Recalling its Decision 29 COM 18C adopted at its 29th session (Durban, 2005),

3. Requests the Secretariat to develop, without prejudice to the World Heritage Convention and the Operational Guidelines, a document to be discussed at the 31st session of the Committee in 2007 on the division of responsibilities between the World Heritage Committee and the General Assembly of State Parties based on the following principles;

a) Strategic policy issues should be discussed and adopted by the General Assembly,;

b) Decisions by the General Assembly should direct and guide the work of the World Heritage Committees in its implementation of the World Heritage Convention;

c) The World Heritage Committee should concentrate its agenda around the State of Conservation of listed properties, Periodic Reporting, and nominations to the World Heritage List;

4. Also requests the World Heritage Centre to present a draft agenda for the General Assembly in 2007, as an attachment to the above mentioned document;

5. Recommends that the World Heritage Committee holds one session per year. Extra-ordinary sessions of the Committee should only take place when very exceptional circumstances make it necessary;

6. Reaffirms that to ensure an efficient meeting, the following principles should be followed:

a) To have a manageable agenda in relation to the number of days set for the meeting;

b) To start all proceedings on time;

c) To apply rule 22.2 of the Rules of Procedure and to set a strict limit to the time allowed for each speaker;

d) To allow one additional full meeting day every two years, devoted to issues to be presented to the General Assembly the same year, starting with the 31st session in 2007;

7. Further requests the World Heritage Centre to reflect on changing the procedure for the election of States Parties to the World Heritage Committee, based on the following principles:

a) A fair geographic distribution of the 21 Members of the Committee (also finding a solution for the one seat reserved for a State Party not having property inscribed on the World Heritage List);

b) One round of voting where the countries with the highest number of votes are elected to the Committee;

c) An efficient voting mechanism;

8. Requests moreover the World Heritage Centre to present a new election system, together with the necessary amendments in the Rules of Procedure, to the 31st session of the World Heritage Committee in 2007, for comments to be forwarded later to the following General Assembly in 2007 for deliberation, proposed adoption and subsequent use for electing new members to the Committee at the same session;

9. Also recommends that, when required and in order to enhance efficiency, consultative groups, appointed by and reporting to the Committee, may be set up in order to aid the Committee on complex and difficult issues;

10. Further recommends that working documents for decision by the Committee should be as short as possible and normally not exceed 5 pages, contain all the elements necessary for a well founded decision, and be written in plain (non-technical) language to the extent possible;

11. Takes note of other points of information contained in Document WHC-06/30.COM/13;

12. Requests the World Heritage Centre to carry out a cost-benefit analysis of the current summary record and an audio recording and to report back at its 31st session in 2007;

13. Decides that additional information requested by the relevant Advisory Bodies on a nomination file, should be sent by the States Parties by 28 February, as evidenced by the postmark.

 Decisions Report
Context of Decision
Year: 2006
Decision Code: 30 COM 13