The fifth session of the World Heritage Committee was held in Sydney, Australia (26-30 October 1981) at the kind invitation of the Government of Australia. The meeting was attended by the following States Members of the World Heritage Committee: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Federal Republic of Germany, Guinea, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Nepal, Pakistan, Switzerland, Tunisia and the United States of America.
Representatives of the International Centre for Conservation in Rome (ICCROM), the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), and the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) attended the meeting in an advisory capacity.
Observers from seven States Parties to the Convention not members of the Committee, namely Canada, Chile, India, Iran, Malta, Poland and Portugal also participated in the session, as well as observers from one intergovernmental organization, the Arab Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation (ALECSO) and two international non-governmental organizations, the International Council of Museums (ICOM); and the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA). The full list of participants will be found in Annex I to this report
The meeting was formally opened by the Prime Minister of Australia, The Rt. Hon. Malcolm Fraser, who welcomed delegates and observers to his country. The Prime Minister referred to the concept of a World Heritage as a profound expression of co-operation between people and a willingness to share, and stated that the World Heritage Convention was an important milestone in the modern history of man's concern, not only for his environment, but also for his cultural roots and origins. The Prime Minister also spoke of the first nominations by Australia for the World Heritage List and of the ...
In reply, the representative of the Director-General of Unesco, Mr. G. Bolla, thanked the Prime Minister for his welcome and expressed the profound gratitude of the participants for the kind invitation to hold the meeting in Sydney and for the generous hospitality of the Australian people. He also recalled the concern of Mr. Amadou Mahtar M'Bow, Director- General of Unesco, for the conservation of the cultural and the natural heritage and expressed the Director-General's appreciation for the active participation of Australia in all the activities of Unesco.
Professor R. O. Slatyer (Australia) was elected Chairman of the Committee by acclamation and he delivered a brief address.
7. The Committee adopted the agenda for the session.
8. A delegate suggested that two working groups be set up in order to examine a number of questions of principle relating to the implementation of the Convention, and, in particular, the procedures for the evaluation of nominated properties and the way to strike a better balance between the cultural heritage and the natural heritage.
9. The Chairman suggested that this proposal be examined by the Bureau as soon as it was established. It was subsequently decided to set up two working groups, one to study the procedure for the ...
At its fourth session (Paris, 1-5 September 1980), the Committee elected five Vice-Chairmen including the representatives of Ghana and Yugoslavia. However, at the Third General Assembly of States Parties to the World Heritage Convention, which met in Belgrade on 7 October 1980, Ghana and Yugoslavia, whose term of office was due to expire at the end of the 21st session of the General Conference, were not candidates for re-election to the Committee and thus ceased to be members. Therefore, in accordance with Rule 12.1 of the Rules of Procedure of the Committee, these two Vice-Chairmen could ...
To avoid a repetition of this situation a number of proposals were put forward, in particular to amend the Rules of Procedure of the Committee. At the end of the debate, the Committee was of the opinion that Rule 12.1 of the Rules of Procedure should not be amended. It decided that henceforth, in the year when the General Assembly of States Parties to the Convention is held, the ordinary session of the Committee should be held as soon as possible after the meeting of this Assembly.
The Committee thereafter elected by acclamation the delegates of the following States members of the Committee as Vice-Chairmen: the Federal Republic of Germany, Brazil, Bulgaria, Guinea and Nepal. Mr Azedine Beschaouch (Tunisia) was re-elected Rapporteur by acclamation.
The Rapporteur, Mr A. Beschaouch, referred to the main points of the report on the fifth session of the Bureau of the Committee, held in Paris from 4 to 7 May 1981. In particular, he draw attention to the twenty-seven properties recommended for inclusion in the World Heritage List.
13. The Committee examined one by one the nominations of those properties which the Bureau had recommended for inclusion on the World Heritage List. In each case, the Committee took note of the comments of the representatives of ICOMOS and/or IUCN, who had made an evaluation of each property in relation to the criteria for inscription. The Committee also noted, for each case, the point of view of the Bureau as presented by the Rapporteur.
14. The Chairman informed the Committee that he had received a letter from an Australian non-governmental organization asking to address the Committee ...
In reporting on the activities undertaken during the last twelve months relating to the implementation of the Convention, the representative of the Director-General informed the Committee that a total of sixty-one States had now adhered to the Convention. There were however some regions in which only a few countries had ratified the Convention and the Secretariat assured the Committee that it would do its utmost to urge other countries to participate in this activity. Eighty-six sites, proposed by twenty-nine countries, had already been inscribed on the World Heritage List, but ...
The Committee decided to include in the World Heritage List all the properties recommended by the Bureau. Two nominations, the Fort of Lahore and Shalimar Gardens in Lahore were combined and thus the following twenty-six properties were inscribed :
Name of Property
Nomination submitted by
Kakadu National Park
NB The Committee noted that the Australian Government intended to proclaim additional areas in the Alligator River Region as part of Kakadu National Park and recommended that such areas ...
The Committee took note of the decision of the Bureau to defer twenty nominations because additional information was required. The meeting was informed that the Australian Government had withdrawn the nomination of the Sydney Opera House in its setting and that it hoped to submit a revised nomination in due course. In addition, the Rapporteur and the Secretariat informed the Committee that the Algerian Authorities intended to revise the nomination relating to the Dey's Palace at Algiers in order to extend it to cover the whole of the Casbah; this revised nomination would be submitted when ...
19. The Secretariat reported on public information activities under- taken in implementation of the decisions taken by the Committee at its fourth session. The attention of the Committee was drawn, in particular, to the problem of obtaining adequate visual material on World Heritage sites . With respect to future activities the Secretariat proposed to continue the implementation of the programme as undertaken and to focus a major part of its efforts on the establishment in each State Party of private foundations or associations for the purpose of promoting the objectives of the World ...
The Committee heard the report of the working group set up to examine the above agenda items as well as the question of protecting world heritage properties. After discussing the different recommendations formulated by the working group, the Committee adopted the following guidelines relating to these questions :
The Committee agreed that there was a need for a statement on the dual concepts of representativeness and selectivity to guide the Committee in the development of the World Heritage List. During the discussion, many delegates spoke of the need to ensure that the List was fully representative of all natural systems and cultures. Whilst it was acknowledged that the Convention itself implied selectivity and that in the short term at least there were other important reasons for limiting the overall size of the List, several delegates argued that the form of words used should not carry any ...
The Committee agreed to support the holding of meetings which could :
help to create interest in the Convention within the countries of a given region ;
create a greater awareness of the different issues related to the implementation of the Convention to promote more active involvement in its application ;
be a means of exchanging experiences ;
stimulate critical evaluation and comparative assessments prior to the submission of tentative lists and nominations ;
stimulate joint promotional activities.
The Committee agreed to make funds available for this activity from the World ...
The Committee decided to remind States Parties of the desirability of submitting tentative lists which should contain the following information :
the name of the property
the geographical location of the property
a brief description of the property
a brief justification of the outstanding universal value of the property in accordance with the criteria set out in the Operational Guidelines (including a comparative assessment of similar properties inside and outside State boundaries).
The Committee also recommended that natural properties should be grouped according to ...
To prevent the World Heritage list from becoming increasingly imbalanced, the Committee decided to encourage those countries which have several properties already inscribed on the list to exercise restraint in putting forward additional nominations (especially cultural nominations) at least for a limited period of time. This should not be interpreted as suggesting that countries which have not yet proposed properties for inscription on the List should in any way be deterred from bringing forward nominations. On the contrary, the Committee was anxious to ensure that a greater variety of ...
On the question of evaluation and protection, the Committee decided :
to encourage ICOMOS and IUCN to be as strict as possible in their evaluations and to request the Secretariat to support the NGOs to this end ;
to encourage informal discussions between the State Party, the Secretariat and the NGO to advise the State Party on a nomination wherever it seems useful ;
to request the Secretariat to distribute as soon as possible after the Bureau Meeting the statement of justification on each property recommended for inclusion on the World Heritage List ;
to devote more time at the ...
The Committee furthermore decided :
a) to request that representatives of a State Party, whether or not a member of the Committee, should not speak to advocate the inclusion in the list of a property nominated by that State, but only to deal with a point of information in answer to a question ; and
b) to ask that the manner of the professional evaluation carried out by ICOMOS and IUCN should be fully described when each nomination is presented.
With particular reference to the evaluation and protection of cultural properties, the Committee requested that :
(a) ICOMOS in the future make comparative evaluations of properties belonging to the same cultural phase or area ;
(b) ICOMOS prepare for the next Bureau Meeting guidelines for evaluating contemporary architectural structures ;
(c) the Secretariat examine with ICCROM and ICOMOS the question of protection and management of listed properties and report back to the Committee.
With regard to natural areas, the representatives of IUCN informed the Committee that their expectation was that, according to the criteria currently adopted, approximately 5 to 10 per cent of the 2,000 natural areas which are listed on the United Nations List of National Parks and Protected Areas would meet the criteria for inscription on the World Heritage List. They also informed the Committee that they expected to present the first world list of potential natural World Heritage sites at the World National Parks Congress in October 1982. They explained that this list was being prepared ...
The Committee took note of the report of the working group entrusted with the task of examining technical co-operation requests and of proposing a budget for the period from the 5th session to the 5th session of the Committee
The Committee took note of document CC-81/CONF.003/4 which presented the interim statement of accounts of the World Heritage Fund for the three-year financial period 1981-1983 as at 31 August 1981. It also took note of the fact that as at that date funds available as cash in hand amounted to $1,907,600.75, which did not include some contributions due for 1981. In view of this satisfactory financial situation, the Committee adopted for the period 1 November 1981 to 31 October 1982 a budget amount- ing to $1,940,000 .
32. On the basis of the recommendations of the Bureau and the report of the working group, the Committee approved the following technical co-operation requests:
- Cyprus - Paphos (request n°79.1) $54,000
- Egypt - Historic Centre of Cairo (request n°89.1(2)) $30,000
- Malta - Hal Saflieni Hypogeum (request n°130.1) $9,000
- Malta - City of Valetta and the Temples of Ggantija (request n°131.1/132.1.) $3,250
- Poland - Historic Centre of Cracow (request n°29.1) $75,000
- Senegal - Island of Gorée (request n°26.1) $40,700
33. Two members of the Committee expressed reservations about the content of the technical co-operation programme for the Old City of Damascus. The Committee shared their opinion in regard to the need for a master plan for the preservation of the traditional urban fabric of the city, and recommended that the competent Syrian authorities establish such a plan.
One member of the Committee expressed reservations about the constant need for temporary assistance to the Secretariat for the implementation of the Convention and recommended that the necessary services for the implementation of the Convention be as far as possible provided for under the Regular Programme of Unesco In this connection the Rapporteur drew the attention of the Committee to the considerable increase in the workload and the Secretariat observed that financial support from the Regular Programme to the Convention is also constantly on the increase.
35. The Committee decided to substantially increase the funds allocated to training activities, considering the shortage of qualified personnel as noted in many countries.
On this subject the representative of the Director-General indicated that a large-scale world training programme at both the regional and national levels for specialists in the conservation of cultural property could be envisaged within the framework of UNESCO, of the Convention and of ICCROM. This latter organization would be willing to participate in a programme of this type. The Committee gave its support to such a ...
The Committee adopted the following budget for the period 1 November 1981 to 31 October 1982 :
Preparatory assistance and regional studies
The Committee examined guidelines for the evaluation of technical co-operation requests as proposed by the Bureau and adopted the text set out in Annex II - This text will replace paragraphs 45 to 49 of the "Operational Guidelines for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention" and the following paragraphs of that document will be re-numbered accordingly.
38. Furthermore, the Committee decided that in each future annual budget a sum equivalent to one quarter of the total amount approved for technical co-operation projects will be added to this amount to finance projects costing not more than $20,000 each.
The nomination of "Los Glaciares" National Park and the delimitation of the Park were the subject of an intervention and a statement by the observer of Chile and a statement by the delegate of Argentina. The intervention and the statement of the observer of Chile are set out in Annex III ; the statement of the delegate of Argentina' is reproduced in Annex IV in its original Spanish version and in translation.
The representative of ALECSO informed the Committee of the activities undertaken by this organization in the field of the cultural heritage and stated that it was determined to strengthen its co-operation with Unesco, in particular in regard to the training of technicians and specialists.
The Rapporteur informed the Committee that, with the addition of the twenty-six properties approved by the Committee during its fifth session, a total of 112 cultural and natural properties had so far been included in the World Heritage List. The list of properties inscribed should be widely disseminated and it would be necessary, for this purpose, to decide whether the properties should be grouped by category and, if so, what categories should be established. The representative of the Director-General stated that, according to the terms of the Convention, it was for the Committee to ...
The Secretariat informed the Committee of the invitation from Sri Lanka, a State Party to the Convention but not a member of the Committee, to hold the sixth session of the Committee in Colombo. The Committee took note of this kind invitation and recalled that its Rules of Procedure foresee that it is only members of the Committee who may extend such invitations.
The Committee was informed that the Secretariat had received from the Jordanian Delegation an official letter inviting the Committee to hold its next session in Amman. Two other members of the World Heritage Convention, Pakistan and Tunisia, expressed the intention of their respective governments to invite the Committee to hold its sixth session in their countries. The delegate of Brazil, for his part, informed the Committee that he had consulted his Government about holding that session in his country.
After consultations among the representatives of Brazil, Jordan, Pakistan and Tunisia, it was proposed that the Committee hold its sixth session in Pakistan and consider holding its seventh session in Brazil. The Committee decided, as far as it was concerned, to accept for 1982 the invitation of Pakistan and warmly thanked the authorities of Pakistan.