The World Heritage Committee decision now referred to as the "Cairns Decision" was a suite of decisions adopted by the 24th session of the Committee (Cairns, Australia, 27 November - 2 December 2000) aimed at improving the representativity of the World Heritage List and managing the workload of the Committee, Advisory Bodies, and the World Heritage Centre.
The "Cairns Decision" limited the number of new nominations to be examined each year by the Committee. Furthermore, the number of nominations to be submitted by each State Party was limited to one, except for those States Parties that had no properties on the World Heritage List who would have the opportunity to propose two or three nominations.
Finally, the Committee requested that this Decision be reviewed after two years of operation. At its 27th session (Paris, 30 June - 5 July 2003), the World Heritage Committee requested all States Parties to send comments and proposals on the Cairns Decision to the World Heritage Centre by 31 December 2003.
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 email@example.com, will be made available on the World Heritage web site at the following address: https://whc.unesco.org/cairns/;.
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.Read more about the decision
VI.1 The Committee noted the reports of the following four reform groups and sincerely thanked the States Parties who had participated in their work.
Task Force on the implementation of the Convention
Chair: C. Cameron (Canada)
Rapporteur: K. Keeffe (Australia)
Working Group on the Representativity of the World Heritage List
Chair: H.E. Ambassador Mr Olabiyi B.J. Yai (Benin)
Rapporteur: H.E. Mr M. Peek (Australia)
Working Group on Equitable Representation in the World Heritage Committee
Chair: H.E. Ambassador J. Musitelli (France)
Rapporteur: D. Masek (Czech Republic)
International Expert Meeting on the Revision of the Operational Guidelines, Canterbury, United Kingdom (10-14 April 2000)
Chair: C. Young (United Kingdom)
Rapporteur: K. Kovacs (United States of America)
VI.2 In view of the large number of detailed recommendations prepared by the four groups listed above, and given that there was limited time for discussion, the Committee focused its discussions on the reform process by examining four specific issues as follows:
1. PROPOSED REFORM OF THE CALENDAR AND CYCLE OF WORLD HERITAGE STATUTORY MEETINGS AND FEASIBILITY STUDY OF THE PROPOSED SYSTEM OF SUB-COMMITTEES
The Committee recalled that the Task Force for the Implementation of the Convention, chaired by Ms Christina Cameron (Canada), had proposed that sub-committees be established to facilitate the work of the World Heritage Committee and the World Heritage Centre.
The Committee also recalled that the twenty-fourth session of the Bureau (June 2000) had requested that there be further examination of the possibility of a sub-committee system and that the Special Session of the Bureau (Budapest, 2-4 October 2000) had discussed the proposal further with reference to a paper prepared by the United Kingdom.
As requested by the Special Session of the Bureau, a paper on the feasibility and implications of a sub-committee system was prepared and examined by the twenty-fourth extraordinary session of the Bureau (WHC-2000/CONF.203/6).
The four objectives for proposing changes to the existing Bureau and Committee system were to:
Objective 1 Facilitate the work of the World Heritage Centre, Objective 2 Facilitate the work of the World Heritage Committee and allow it to devote more time to general policy discussions for the implementation of the Convention, Objective 3 Improve the prior examination of various issues submitted to the Committee, and Objective 4 Increase representation of States Parties in the work of the Committee.
The Committee decided to:
The revised deadline for nominations would be 1 February. Evaluations would be due from IUCN and/or ICOMOS 6 weeks prior to the April Bureau.
Referrals of nominations would be re-examined by the Bureau in the year following initial examination before proceeding to the Committee for decision.
The deadline for receipt of international assistance requests and state of conservation reports would also be on 1 February.
During the transition period the following timetable would apply:
|Nominations received by||To be examined by the Bureau||To be examined by the Committee|
|1 July 2000||June/July 2001||December 2001|
|31 December 20001||April 2002||June 2002|
|1 February 2002||April 2003||June 2003|
|1 February 2003||April 2004||June 2004|
The Committee decided to defer a decision on the introduction of a sub-committee system or the extension of the Bureau session from six to eight days, until the effectiveness of the other reforms (changed statutory meeting calendar and cycle, limitation in number of nominations to be examined each year and reforms to meeting documentation) could be assessed at a later date. It was thus agreed that reform should proceed gradually. Greater efforts were to be given to structuring the work of the Bureau to focus its work. The ordering of the agenda by topics was considered useful as was the use of informal ad hoc working groups to expedite the work of the Bureau and Committee.
The Delegate of Hungary presented a document distributed to the Committee entitled "A Hungarian World Heritage Vision". The document refers to the need to address the balance of representation of the World Heritage List in favour of under- represented or non-represented countries. It also calls for a more prominent role for tentative lists. The Delegate of Hungary suggested that with a pause in the examination of nominations in 2002, the twenty-sixth session of the Committee in 2002 could concentrate on the preparation of a Strategic Plan and other issues important for the future implementation of the Convention.
The Committee noted that the Task Force on the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention had recommended a number of reforms to the documents prepared for World Heritage statutory meetings.
Following a presentation by the Director of the World Heritage Centre, the Committee agreed that the objectives of reforming meeting documentation would be to:
The Committee decided that reform of the system of documentation, as proposed by the Director of the World Heritage Centre, would include:
To enhance communication between the World Heritage Centre and the Committee, the Committee also decided, as proposed by the Director of the World Heritage Centre, that the Centre would,
The Committee requested the World Heritage Centre to implement as many of these reforms as are feasible before the twenty-fifth session of the Committee.
2. EQUITABLE REPRESENTATION IN THE WORLD HERITAGE COMMITTEE
The Committee recalled that in October 1999 the twelfth General Assembly,
The Committee noted that in 2000, a Working Group on Equitable Representation within the World Heritage Committee was established under the Chairmanship of H.E. Ambassador J. Musitelli (France). The report of the Working Group was discussed at the June and October 2000 sessions of the Bureau (WHC-2000/CONF.204/INF.9).
The Committee noted the proposals on the equitable representation of the Committee developed following the Special Session of the Bureau session (WHC-2000/CONF.204/6) and decided to recommend the following Draft Resolution for adoption by the 13th General Assembly:
The General Assembly of States Parties to the Convention concerning the protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage,
Recalling Article 8, paragraph 2, of the Convention which stipulates that "Election of members of the Committee shall ensure an equitable representation of the different regions and cultures of the world";
Recalling Article 9 of the Convention which stipulates that "The term of office of States members of the World Heritage Committee shall extend from the end of the ordinary session of the General Conference during which they are elected until the end of its third subsequent ordinary session";
Recalling the Resolution of the 7th General Assembly of States Parties (1989);
Considering the representivity of the World Heritage List could be enhanced through the increased participation in the work of the Committee of States Parties whose heritage is currently unrepresented in the List;
Considering that the strong interest of States Parties in participating in the work of the World Heritage Committee could be addressed by a more frequent rotation of Committee members;
Invites the States Parties to the World Heritage Convention, to voluntarily reduce their term of office from six to four years;
Encourages States Parties that are not members of the Committee to make use of their right to participate in meetings of the World Heritage Committee as observers;
Discourages States Parties from seeking consecutive terms of office in the World Heritage Committee;
Decides that before each election of Committee members, the President of the General Assembly of States Parties will inform States Parties of the situation of the representation of regions and cultures in the World Heritage Committee and World Heritage List;
Decides to amend its Rules of Procedure as follows:
New Rule to be inserted after Rule 13.1
A certain number of seats may be reserved for State Parties who do not have sites on the World Heritage List, upon decision of the World Heritage Committee at the session that precedes the General Assembly. Such a ballot for reserved seats would precede the open ballot for the remaining seats to be filled. Unsuccessful candidates in the reserved ballot would be eligible to stand in the open ballot.
Amendment to existing Rule 13.8 (new text in bold)
13.8 Those States obtaining in the first ballot the required majority shall be elected, unless the number of States obtaining that majority is greater than the number of seats to be filled. In that case, the States obtaining the greatest number of votes, up to the number of seats to be filled, shall be declared elected. If the number of States obtaining the majority required is less than the number of seats to be filled, there shall be a second ballot, followed by a third and, if necessary a fourth, to fill the remaining seats. If the number of States obtaining the majority required is less than the number of seats to be filled, there shall be a second ballot. If the number of States obtaining the majority required is still less than the number of seats to be filled there shall be a third and, if necessary a fourth ballot, to fill the remaining seats. For the third and fourth ballots, the voting shall be restricted to the States obtaining the greatest number of votes in the previous ballot, up to a number twice that of the seats remaining to be filled.
Decides that this resolution should be implemented immediately.
The Committee also recommended that the General Assembly organize the agenda of its thirteenth session so that the measures foreseen by these amendments may enter into force at that same session.
In order to implement the new rule to be inserted following Rule 13.1, the Committee decided that one seat be reserved for a State Party not having a site inscribed on the World Heritage List at the date of the thirteenth session of the General Assembly.
The Committee requested the Secretariat to inform all States Parties of the implementation of the new electoral procedures, particularly those States Parties which may fulfill the conditions to be candidates for the reserved seat.
The Committee requested the Secretariat to prepare with the involvement of interested States Parties and the advisory bodies, a proposal for the twenty-sixth session of the World Heritage Committee for further amendment to Rule 13 of the Rules of Procedures of the General Assembly relating to the election of members of the World Heritage Committee in order to ensure an equitable representation of the different regions and cultures of the world. This proposal is to be based on a thorough analysis of the consequences of the proposed changes and the adjustments that would be required to the election procedures.
The Committee also decided to revise the Rules of Procedure of the World Heritage Committee as follows:
New Rule 4.3
"In determining the place of the next session, the Committee shall give due regard to the need to ensure an equitable rotation among the different regions and cultures of the world."
New Rule 20.4
"In appointing consultative bodies, due regard shall be given to the need to ensure an equitable representation of the different regions and cultures of the world."
New Rule 21.3
"In appointing subsidiary bodies, due regard shall be given to the need to ensure an equitable representation of the different regions and cultures of the world."
3. REPRESENTIVITY OF THE WORLD HERITAGE LIST
The Committee examined and discussed the recommendations of the Working Group on the Representivity of the World Heritage List chaired by Ambassador Yai (Benin), which had been transmitted by the Special Session of the Bureau with some changes.
The Committee recognized that the issue of representivity of the World Heritage List was the most difficult of the reform issues under consideration by the Committee. The Committee noted that more effective use of tentative lists and greater regulation of the ever-increasing number of nominations was required. It was agreed that other measures, such as assistance for capacity-building would be vital for ensuring the representation of sites from all regions on the World Heritage List.
The Committee therefore agreed on a decision presented in 5 sections:
With reference to Section 3, the Delegate of Hungary asked that his request for a change in the deadline for submission of nominations to be examined in 2002, from December 2000 as agreed by the Committee, to April 2001, be noted in the Report. The Committee agreed to note this request by the Delegate of Hungary but stated that in the interest of a smooth transition, the majority position of the Committee will be maintained.
With the exception of Hungary, the text of the decision was adopted by all members of the Committee. A letter from the Italian Government is included as Annex IX of this report.
The Committee agreed to transmit its decision to the Thirteenth General Assembly of States Parties in 2001.
1. Respecting the Convention
The Committee reaffirmed the Convention for the Protection of the World Natural and Cultural Heritage as an instrument of consensus, cooperation and accord between States Parties and takes particular note of Articles 6 (1) and 6 (2) and Article 11 (1):
(i) Whilst fully respecting the sovereignty of the States on whose territory the cultural and natural heritage mentioned in Articles 1 and 2 is situated, and without prejudice to property right provided by national legislation, the States Parties to this Convention recognize that such heritage constitutes a world heritage for whose protection it is the duty of the international community as a whole to co-operate (Article 6 (1)
(ii) The States Parties undertake, in accordance with the provisions of this Convention, to give their help in the identification, protection, conservation and presentation of the cultural and natural heritage . . . if the States on whose territory it is situated so request (Article 6 (2)).
(iii) Every State Party to this Convention shall, in so far as possible, submit to the World Heritage Committee an inventory of property forming part of the cultural and natural heritage, situated in its territory and suitable for inclusion in the list . . . (Article 11 (1).
Decisive cooperative action is required by the Committee and States Parties to ensure that the World Heritage List is fully representative of the world's natural and cultural heritage.
2. Tentative Lists
(i) In the future, consistent with Article 11, .the tentative lists of cultural and natural sites should be used, as a planning tool to reduce the imbalances in the World Heritage List. States Parties are reminded of the invitation to submit tentative lists in conformity with Article 11 of the Convention. The Committee should revise paragraphs 7 and 8 of the Operational Guidelines to extend to natural sites its decision not to examine nominations of sites for inscription if the property does not appear on a tentative list.
(ii) The advisory bodies and the World Heritage Centre should proceed with an analysis of sites inscribed on the World Heritage List and the tentative list on a regional, chronological, geographical and thematic basis. This analysis should be undertaken as soon as possible, taking into account the workload on advisory bodies and the financial implications of this work, particularly in regard to the large number of sites on the tentative list. For this reason, the work should be undertaken in two parts, sites inscribed on the World Heritage List and sites on the tentative list. The analysis will provide States Parties with a clear overview of the present situation, and likely trends in the short to medium term with a view to identifying under-represented categories.
(iii) The advisory bodies should take into account in their analyses:
(iv) The World Heritage Centre and advisory bodies should communicate the results of the analyses to the World Heritage Committee and, following the Committee's examination, the results should be conveyed to States Parties to the Convention, together with the Committee's recommendations. This will allow them to prepare, revise and/or harmonise their tentative list, taking into account, where appropriate, regional considerations, and to take the results of the analyses into consideration for the submission of future nominations.
(v) The results of the analyses should be communicated no later than 30 September 2001.
In order to promote the effective management of the increasing size of the World Heritage List, the Committee at each ordinary session will set the maximum number of nominations to be considered. In the first instance and on an interim basis, it is proposed that at the twenty-seventh session of the Committee in 2003, the number of nominations examined by the Committee will be limited to a maximum of 30 new sites.
In order to determine which sites should be given priority for consideration, all nominations to be considered at the twenty- seventh session of the Committee must be received in full by the new due date of 1 February 2002 agreed by the Committee as part of the change of cycle of meetings. No State Parties should submit more than one nomination, except those States Parties that have no sites inscribed on the World Heritage List who will have the opportunity to propose two or three nominations.
In order to address the issue of representivity of the List the following criteria will be applied in order of priority:2
In the event that the number of nominations received exceeds the maximum number set by the Committee, the following priority system will be applied each year by the World Heritage Centre before nominations are transmitted to the advisory bodies for evaluation, in determining which sites should be taken forward for consideration:
When applying this priority system, date of receipt of full and complete nominations by the World Heritage Centre shall be used as the secondary determining factor within the category where the number of nominations established by the Committee is reached.
In addition to the approved maximum number of sites, the Committee will also consider nominations deferred, or referred, from previous meetings and changes to the boundaries of already inscribed properties. The Committee may also decide to consider, on an emergency basis, situations falling under paragraph 67 of the Operational Guidelines.
Committee meeting, December 2001
No change to existing system.
Committee meeting June 2002
Full and complete nominations received by the World Heritage Centre prior to 31 December 2000 will be considered together with nominations deferred, or referred, from previous meetings and changes to the boundaries of already inscribed properties. The Committee may also decide to consider, on an emergency basis, situations falling under paragraph 67 of the Operational Guidelines.
Committee meeting June 2003
Nominations to be submitted by 1 February 2002 and prioritized in accordance with the system as described above.
The system described above is to be reviewed by the Committee after two full years of operation.
4. Resolution of the Twelfth General Assembly, 1999
The Committee decided to call on States Parties concerned to inform the Committee with a minimum of delay, of measures taken in the implementation of the clauses of the Resolution adopted by the Twelfth General Assembly (Paragraph B) that invites all States Parties that already have a substantial number of sites inscribed on the World Heritage List to:
(i) Apply paragraph 6 (vii) of the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention:
ii) Initiate and encourage bilateral and multilateral co-operation with States Parties whose heritage is still under-represented in the List within the framework of the preparation of tentative lists, nominations and training programmes,
iii) Give priority to the re-examination of their tentative lists within the framework of regional consultations and to the preparation of periodic reports.
5. Capacity Building for Under-represented Regions
The Committee decided that cooperative efforts in capacity-building and training are necessary to ensure that the World Heritage List is fully representative and agrees that:
(i) The World Heritage Centre should continue to promote training programmes, preferably at the regional level, aimed at allowing States Parties whose heritage is still under-represented to be better versed in the Convention and to better implement the measures under Article 5. These primarily concern the identification, management, protection, enhancement and conservation of heritage. Such programmes should also assist States Parties to acquire and/or consolidate their expertise, in the preparation and harmonisation of their tentative lists and the preparation of nominations.
(ii) The advisory bodies and the World Heritage Centre should use the opportunity of evaluation missions to hold regional training workshops to assist under-represented States in the methods of preparation of their tentative list and nominations. Appropriate financial and human resources should be provided through the World Heritage Centre budget process to undertake such workshops.
(iii) Requests by States Parties whose heritage is non- represented or under-represented should be given a high priority when the portion of the World Heritage budget relating to Preparatory Assistance in preparing nominations is developed.
(iv) The order of priorities for the granting of international assistance, as defined in paragraphs 91 and 113-114 of the Operational Guidelines, should be revised in a manner consistent with the recommendations of the International Expert Meeting on the Revision of the Operational Guidelines (Canterbury, United Kingdom) to improve the representivity of the World Heritage List and to be coherent with the Global Strategy. Beyond the conditions provided for by the Convention, and subject to the conclusions of the evaluation of international assistance, the new priority order should take into account:
(v) Regional Plans of Action should be updated and developed within the framework of the Global Strategy. These should specify for each targeted region and State Party, the objective, action needed, responsibility, timetable for adoption, state of play and a mechanism to report on progress in implementing these at each session of the World Heritage Committee. In order to underline their incentive nature, the Plans of Action should highlight the actions by the States Parties concerned, notably in application of Article 5 of the Convention, and should mention the bilateral or multilateral co-operation programmes in the field of heritage in general, for the elaboration in particular of nominations.
(vi) The next UNESCO Medium-Term Strategy should stress the necessity of adopting an intersectoral policy aimed at better implementing the Convention. From the 2002-2003 biennium, an intersectoral project should be developed and implemented to encourage the States Parties whose heritage is still under- represented to reinforce their capacity to protect, conserve and enhance it.
The Committee noted that the Hungarian authorities had prepared a proposal for the establishment of a Heritage Partnership Programme to be examined by the Committee at its twenty-fourth session in Cairns (WHC-2000/CONF.204/19).
The Committee decided that a review of the implementation and effectiveness of such measures should take place not later than 2003.
4. PROPOSED REVISIONS TO THE OPERATIONAL GUIDELINES
The Director of the World Heritage Centre thanked English Heritage and the Government of the United Kingdom for having organized, jointly with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, the International Expert Meeting on the Revision to the Operational Guidelines in Canterbury, England, from 10 to 14 April, 2000. He also thanked the Government of the United Kingdom for having offered to provide an additional financial contribution to this important activity in 2001.
Following a report on the results of the Expert Meeting by Christopher Young (United Kingdom), who had chaired the meeting, the Committee decided that the Operational Guidelines be restructured according to the proposed new overall framework (WHC-2000/CONF.204/INF.10).
The Committee requested that the Operational Guidelines be simplified, streamlined and presented in a user-friendly form with most of the existing and new supporting material to be moved to annexes and other documentation. The Committee asked that the Operational Guidelines be organized in a logical way, returning to the fundamental principles of the World Heritage Convention. The revised Operational Guidelines will introduce for the first time a consolidated section on the Protection and Conservation of World Heritage Properties.
IUCN welcomed the excellent work done at the Canterbury Expert Meeting to propose a reshaping of the Operational Guidelines. IUCN agreed that a comprehensive overhaul of this key document was required rather than the past practice of incremental, ad hoc amendments. IUCN expressed their wish to contribute to a process of revisions and proposed five objectives for the revised Operational Guidelines:
The Committee decided that the process for revising the Operational Guidelines should be co-ordinated by the World Heritage Centre through a collaborative process involving representatives of States Parties, the advisory bodies and the Secretariat. It was agreed that revised Operational Guidelines should reflect different regional and cultural perspectives. The Committee agreed to the following phased approach to the revision of the Operational Guidelines. The Director of the World Heritage Centre noted that additional human and financial resources would be required for the Centre to co-ordinate this process.
|Phase I||Meeting at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris in January 2001 to define the process for revising the Operational Guidelines|
|Phase II||Preparation by the Secretariat of a first draft revised text in English and French to reflect all current proposals for revision and showing the source of the proposed revisions|
|Phase III||Circulation of the revised text to all States Parties and posting of revised text on the Web|
|Phase IV||Contributions in writing from States Parties|
|Phase V||Meeting to refine new Operational Guidelines, section by section|
|Phase VI||Submission of revised Operational Guidelines to the twenty-fifth session of the World Heritage Committee in 2001 for decision.|
1Full and complete nominations received by the World Heritage Centre prior to 31 December 2000 will be considered together with nominations deferred, or referred, from previous meetings and changes to the boundaries of already inscribed properties. The Committee may also decide to consider, on an emergency basis, situations falling under paragraph 67 of the Operational Guidelines.
2 In nominating properties to the List, States Parties are invited 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)
3 In evaluating these, and all other nominations, the Advisory Bodies should continue to apply a strict evaluation of criteria as set out in the Operational Guidelines.Read more about the decision