The World Heritage Committee:

Noting that in 2002, United Nations Year for Cultural Heritage, the World Heritage Committee celebrates the thirtieth anniversary of the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO in 1972;

Considering that in 30 years, the Convention has proven to be a unique instrument of international co-operation in the protection of cultural and natural heritage of outstanding universal value;

Adopts the Budapest Declaration on World Heritage as follows:

  1. We, the members of the World Heritage Committee, recognize the universality of the 1972 UNESCO World Heritage Convention and the consequent need to ensure that it applies to heritage in all its diversity, as an instrument for the sustainable development of all societies through dialogue and mutual understanding.

  2. The properties on the World Heritage List are assets held in trust to pass on to generations of the future as their rightful inheritance.

  3. In view of the increasing challenges to our shared heritage, we will:

    1. encourage countries that have not yet joined the Convention to do so at the earliest opportunity, as well as with other related international heritage protection instruments;

    2. invite States Parties to the Convention to identify and nominate cultural and natural heritage properties representing heritage in all its diversity, for inclusion on the World Heritage List;

    3. seek to ensure an appropriate and equitable balance between conservation, sustainability and development, so that World Heritage properties can be protected through appropriate activities contributing to the social and economic development and the quality of life of our communities;

    4. join to co-operate in the protection of heritage, recognizing that to harm such heritage is to harm, at the same time, the human spirit and the world's inheritance;

    5. promote World Heritage through communication, education, research, training and public awareness strategies;

    6. seek to ensure the active involvement of our local communities at all levels in the identification, protection and management of our World Heritage properties;

  4. We, the World Heritage Committee, will co-operate and seek the assistance of all partners for the support of World Heritage. For this purpose, we invite all interested parties to co-operate and to promote the following objectives:

    1. strengthen the credibility of the World Heritage List, as a representative and geographically balanced testimony of cultural and natural properties of outstanding universal value;

    2. ensure the effective conservation of World Heritage properties;

    3. promote the development of effective capacity-building measures, including assistance for preparing the nomination of properties to the World Heritage List, for the understanding and implementation of the World Heritage Convention and related instruments;

    4. increase public awareness, involvement and support for World Heritage through communication.

  5. We will evaluate, at our 31st session in 2007, the achievements made in the pursuit of the above mentioned objectives and in support of this commitment.

Budapest, 28 June 2002