Decision : CONF 201 XVI.1-4
Use of the World Heritage Emblem

XVI.1 The Secretariat summarized Working Document WHC-96/CONF.201/17 on the "Use of the World Heritage Emblem" which was requested by the twentieth session of the Bureau in 1996, and which provided a legal analysis by UNESCO's Legal Advisor of the aspects concerning the use of the emblem, as well as proposals as to the manner in which to guide its appropriate use. The legal analysis determined that under the terms of the contract with the artist, Mr. Olyff, who designed the emblem, the owner of the emblem is UNESCO. However, it was further underlined that the Committee adopted the artwork as the emblem of the Convention at its second session in 1978, and had developed guidelines for its use as represented in the Operational Guidelines, paragraphs 122-128. The Secretariat explained that the situation was multifaceted and complex as well as not sufficiently addressed in the Operational Guidelines to assure the consistent and timely authorization of the use of the emblem. The Committee emphasized that it had previously decided that the States Parties had the responsibility to control the use of the emblem within their sovereign territories and it was observed that two States Parties (Canada and the United States of America) had taken the necessary steps to regulate and control the use of the emblem. The non-commercial and commercial, educational, informational, promotional and presentational uses of the emblem were noted as difficult determinations to make in the absence of more detailed guidelines. While the prerogative of the Committee to make such determinations on a case by case basis is recognized in the Operational Guidelines, pragmatic considerations for the use of the emblem had led the Centre to make for educational purposes with the private and public sector media contractual arrangements which have generated contributions to the World Heritage Fund. The Centre sought additional guidance from the Committee with respect to the development of criteria for the consistent and appropriate use, regulation and protection of the emblem.

XVI.2 It was brought to the attention of the Committee that in the current Operational Guidelines, the use of the term World Heritage "emblem" was recommended, but that the term "logo" also appears. For consistency and to avoid a nomenclature that implied a commercial connotation it was suggested to use in the future exclusively the term "emblem". It was recommended that the Committee considers revising the Operational Guidelines accordingly.

XVI.3 The Delegate of Lebanon concurred with a consistent use of the term "emblem" throughout the Operational Guidelines and the equivalent in the French text. He further expressed the opinion that UNESCO had not respected the procedures for the use of the emblem. The Delegate of Malta welcomed the confirmation from UNESCO's Office for International Standards and Legal Affairs that the decision to adopt the design as the emblem of the Convention could only be taken by the Committee, and that UNESCO can only dispose of it through the Committee. Therefore, Article 6 of the Agreement between UNESCO and the Government of Norway was legally problematic. The Committee believed that the development of more detailed guidelines for the use of the "emblem" was necessary and that the abusive commercial use of the "emblem" should be avoided.

XVI.4 The Committee decided to place this question on the appropriate use and authorization of the World Heritage emblem before the Consultative Body created by the Committee for the purpose of reviewing the financial and management aspects of the Centre.

 Decisions Report
Context of Decision
See Also (1)
Themes: Communication
Year: 1996
Decision Code: CONF 201 XVI.1-4