Committee Decisions

27 COM 14
Evaluation of the Cairns Decision

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Decides to retain the limit of one new and complete nomination per State Party with properties already on the World Heritage List, as the best means of managing the workload of the Committee, the Advisory Bodies, and the World Heritage Centre, and of improving the geographic distribution of properties on the World Heritage List; States Parties that have no properties inscribed on the World Heritage List will have the opportunity to nominate two or three properties;

2. Decides to continue to exempt from this limit transboundary and emergency nominations, changes to the boundaries of properties already inscribed, as well as those nominations which have been deferred and referred by previous sessions of the Committee;

3. Invites States Parties nominating properties to keep in mind the desirability of achieving a reasonable balance between the numbers of cultural heritage and natural heritage properties included in the World Heritage List (Paragraph 15 of the Operational Guidelines, July 2002);

4. Decides to set at 40 the annual limit on the number of new nominations it will review, exclusive of nominations deferred and referred by previous sessions of the Committee, changes to the boundaries of properties already inscribed, transboundary nominations and nominations submitted on an emergency basis;

5. Decides to maintain the deadline for the receipt of complete nominations as 1 February and encourages States Parties to submit draft nominations by 30 September to ensure that nominations have the maximum opportunity of being complete on 1 February (Decision 6 EXT.COM 5.1 Annex 3.9);.

6. Requests States Parties to send comments and proposals on the Cairns Decision to the World Heritage Centre by 31 December 2003. Comments, sent by post, by facsimile to +33 (0)1 4568 5570, or by e-mail to, will be made available on the World Heritage web site at the following address:;.

7. Decides to establish, at the beginning of the 28th session of the Committee in Suzhou, China (2004), an open-ended working group to review the comments of States Parties, documents (including the results of the Advisory Bodies' analyses of the World Heritage List and Tentative Lists, and the Report of the 1999/2000 working group on the Representativity of the World Heritage List) and statistics relative to the operation of the Cairns Decision, and to make recommendations to the Committee. For this purpose, the World Heritage Centre will distribute the necessary documentation as early as possible prior to the 28th session to be held in 2004.

Activities (1)
 Original Decision Document
Context of Decision
Themes: Credibility of the World Heritage List
Session: 27COM
Year: 2003