Committee Decisions

37 COM 15I

Report on the execution of the 2012-2013 Budget and preparation of the 2014-2015 Budget

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/15.Rev,

2.  Recalls its budget decisions adopted since the 28th session of the Committee;

3.  Also recalls its decision 35 COM 12B paragraph 13 adopted at its 35th session to establish a Budget Working Group as a Standing Consultative Body of the Committee in order to examine item 15 of the Agenda, to formulate its recommendations thereon and to report back to the Committee at its plenary session;

 

PART I

4.  Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/15.Rev Part I on the Budget implementation for the Biennium 2012-2013,

5.  Takes note of the statement of accounts of the World Heritage Fund for 2012-2013 and the situation of the reserves and contributions as at 31 December 2012 and as at 31 March 2013;

6.  Recalls that the payment of assessed compulsory and voluntary contributions is, as per the Article 16 of the World Heritage Convention , an obligation incumbent on States Parties having ratified the Convention ;

7.  Thanks the States Parties, who have already made their contributions and calls upon the other States Parties, who have not yet paid the totality of their assessed contributions, including voluntary contributions in accordance with Article 16.2 of the Convention , to ensure that their contributions are paid as soon as possible;

8.  Approves the request from ICOMOS for additional funding to the 2012-2013 budget in the amount of US$154,790.54 from the operating reserves of the World Heritage Fund for the evaluation of three large and complex nominations and 15 reactive monitoring missions;

9.  Notes with concern the impact of the budget reduction of the UNESCO regular budget on programme activities, and appreciates the continuing efforts undertaken to manage and mitigate the challenges brought about by this situation;

 

PART II

10.  Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/15.Rev Part II related to the budget for the biennium 2014-2015,

11.  Approves the budget of US$6,579,559 for the World Heritage Fund for the biennium 2014-2015 and its corresponding breakdown as shown in Annex V in proposal 1;

12.  Recalls with deep concern the current financial situation of the World Heritage Fund which hampers its ability to provide for activities related to the Convention , including conservation and management of properties, which is a top priority, as well as nominations, and recognizes the necessity to urgently improve the sustainability of the Fund, which is required to underpin the Convention as a flagship of UNESCO;

13.  Also recognizes that the current financial situation of the World Heritage Fund may result in insufficient funding for the biennium 2014-2015, and recommends that in the event of a significant funding shortfall the World Heritage Centre utilizes the allocations provided for in proposal 2 in Annex V as a guide whereby to implement the budget;

14.  Requests the Secretariat to prepare a chart which visualizes the major reductions of activities from 2010 to 2012 in the light of the plan of the statutory activities to be implemented according to the relevant decisions of the World Heritage Committee, and to distribute it to all the States Parties and the Advisory Bodies at the General Assembly of the State Parties to the Convention to be held in November 2013 in order to fully share the increasingly difficult financial situation of the World Heritage Fund as well as the necessity to consider seriously the sustainability of this Fund;

15.  Also recommends that the World Heritage Centre, in its implementation of the budget for the next biennium (2014-2015), give priority to conservation and monitoring activities;

 

16.  Notes that a variety of priority activities and strategic initiatives adopted by the World Heritage Committee regarding capacity building, upstream processes, and programmes of the World Heritage Centre are at risk without sufficient funding;

17.  Invites the Advisory Bodies to continue to focus on more efficient ways of working, keeping administrative costs to a minimum and identifying opportunities to make savings;

18.  Also notes that the provision of funding for the costs of all advisory missions requested by States Parties, and all advice provided in relation to (a) tentative lists, (b) possible nominations or (c) specific conservation issues not considered through reactive monitoring missions, is the responsibility of the State(s) Party/ies concerned;

19.  Further recommends that States Parties that do not possess the necessary financial resources seek assistance from the World Heritage Centre to mobilize funding through extrabudgetary sources and facilitate bilateral assistance;

20.  Also requests the World Heritage Centre to prepare guidelines, in consultation with the Advisory Bodies, for consideration during the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee on the funding of advisory missions and the provision of advice as specified in paragraph 18 (a) to (c), in order to safeguard the integrity of the advice provided by the Advisory Bodies;

21.  Further requests concerned States Parties to provide voluntary assistance in covering the travel and accommodation expenses for evaluation and reactive monitoring missions;

22.  Decides that future decisions presented for the Committee’s approval that have financial implications not provided for in the approved budget be clearly identified and reflected in the relevant decisions of the Committee, upon adoption;

23.  Takes note of the suggestions made in paragraph 17 of Document WHC-13/37.COM/5A and requests furthermore the World Heritage Centre to propose to the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session possible measures that would decrease the costs of statutory meetings;

 

PART III

24.  Having examined document WHC-13/37.COM/15.Rev Part III on the sustainability of the World Heritage Fund,

25.  Notes that the World Heritage Fund will not increase significantly in future due to the universality of the Convention , as well as the provisions of the Convention that determines the statutory funding of the World Heritage Fund, while at the same time the number of properties inscribed on the World Heritage List will continue to increase;

26.  Considers that without additional contributions being made to the World Heritage Fund, financial resources will not be sufficient to provide for the statutory processes as well as International Assistance, thereby threatening the credibility of the Convention and the fulfilment of its objectives;

27.  Expresses its concern that the staffing of the World Heritage Centre is not sufficient to implement the statutory activities required by the Convention and that the World Heritage Centre is increasingly depended on staff hired for the implementation of extrabudgetary activities to implement statutory work, as well as unpaid overtime to ensure the Secretariat functions;

28.  Also expresses its utmost concern that the budget for International Assistance has decreased from 55% to 16% between 2001 and 2010, and is not sufficient to accommodate requests from Least Developed and Low Income States Parties that are recommended for approval by the International Assistance Panel and particularly for sites on the List of World Heritage in Danger;

29.  Recognizes that States Parties have an obligation to fulfil the objectives of the Convention and have a responsibility to provide sufficient funding for statutory processes and International Assistance;

30.  Highlights the urgent need to ensure the sustainability of the World Heritage Fund and having considered a range of options to this end, calls upon all States Parties to consider allocating unrestricted supplementary voluntary contributions to the World Heritage Fund to the extent possible and within their capacity to pay;

31.  Recommends that the General Assembly requests the Director-General of UNESCO to include, in the letter requesting payment of the assessed compulsory and voluntary contributions to States Parties, a request for supplementary voluntary contributions, and to report back to the 20th session of the General Assembly in this regard;

32.  Decides to review annually the response of States Parties in terms of paragraph 30 and to continue to explore appropriate ways to ensure the sustainability of the Fund;

33.  Calls upon States Parties to give serious consideration to the second general appeal to States Parties for additional supplementary voluntary contributions made on 18 June 2013 in order to ensure the sustainability of the World Heritage Fund as well as the integrity of the World Heritage regime;

34.  Also decides that additional contributions received in terms of the second general appeal be utilized for International Assistance towards conservation and management of World Heritage properties;

35.  Requests the World Heritage Centre to report annually to the Committee on the amounts of supplementary voluntary contributions received as well as the contributors of such voluntary contributions;

36.  Also requests the World Heritage Centre to further promote the PACT strategy to develop partnerships with the private sector, in order to encourage the private sector to make contributions directly to the World Heritage Fund and to report back to the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee in the Annex to the Report of the World Heritage Centre as per Decision 37 COM 5D paragraph 3;

37.  Notes with appreciation the supplementary costs absorbed by the Cambodian Authorities as host of the 37th session of the Committee in addition to those listed in the Statement of Requirements;

38.  Also recognizes that supplementary costs of future sessions of the Committee are reflected, in consultation with the host country, in the Host Country Agreement and the Statement of Requirements for the host country;

39.  Finally requests the World Heritage Centre to report on the implementation of this Decision at its 38th session in 2014.

Themes: Budget, International Assistance, List of World Heritage in Danger, World Heritage Convention
Session: 37COM