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The World Heritage Committee

The World Heritage Committee meets once a year, and consists of representatives from 21 of the States Parties to the Convention elected by their General Assembly. At its first session, the Committee adopted its Rules of Procedure of the World Heritage Committee.

The Committee is responsible for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, defines the use of the World Heritage Fund and allocates financial assistance upon requests from States Parties. It has the final say on whether a property is inscribed on the World Heritage List. It examines reports on the state of conservation of inscribed properties and asks States Parties to take action when properties are not being properly managed. It also decides on the inscription or deletion of properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

45th Session
of the World Heritage Committee

Postponed

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Bureau of the World Heritage Committee

The Bureau consists of seven States Parties elected annually by the Committee: a Chairperson, five Vice-Chairpersons, and a Rapporteur. The Bureau of the Committee coordinates the work of the Committee and fixes the dates, hours and order of business of meetings. The election of the new Bureau will take place at the end of the next session of the World Heritage Committee.

Chairperson: H.E. Mr. Alexander Kuznetsov (Russian Federation)
Rapporteur: Ms. Shikha Jain (India)
Vice-Chairpersons: Argentina, Italy, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand

World Heritage Committee Members

According to the World Heritage Convention , a Committee member's term of office is for six years, but most States Parties choose voluntarily to be Members of the Committee for only four years, in order to give other States Parties an opportunity to be on the Committee.

The 21 States Parties of the current World Heritage Committee are the following:

Argentina Belgium Bulgaria Egypt Ethiopia Greece India Italy Japan Mali Mexico Nigeria Oman Qatar Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Saudi Arabia South Africa Thailand Zambia

The "Five Cs"

Strategic Objectives of the World Heritage Convention

c
Credibility

Strengthen the Credibility of the World Heritage List, as a representative and geographically balanced testimony of cultural and natural properties of outstanding universal value.

c
Conservation

Ensure the effective Conservation of World Heritage properties.

c
Capacity-building

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.

c
Communication

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

c
Communities

Enhance the role of communities in the implementation of the World Heritage Convention.

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chevron_right Budapest Declaration (2002)
chevron_right The "fifth C" (2007)

Rules of Procedure

Established under the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO at its seventeenth session on 16 November 1972. The Rules of Procedure were last revised by the World Heritage Committee at its thirty-ninth session (Bonn, 2015). The Rules of Procedure are periodically revised to reflect the decisions of the World Heritage Committee.

Rules of Procedure (July 2015)  Règlement Intérieur (juillet 2015)

Rules of Procedure: Historical Development

Ordinary sessions of the World Heritage Committee

45COM Postponed
44COM Fuzhou, China/Online (2021)
43COM Baku, Azerbaijan (2019)
42COM Manama, Bahrain (2018)
41COM Kraków, Poland (2017)
40COM Istanbul, Turkey, July / UNESCO’s Headquarters, October (2016)
39COM Germany, Bonn (2015)
38COM Qatar, Doha (2014)
37COM Phnom Penh, Cambodia (2013)
36COM Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation (2012)
35COM UNESCO, Paris (2011)
34COM Brasília, Brazil (2010)
33COM Sevilla, Spain (2009)
32COM Quebec City, Canada (2008)
31COM Christchurch, New-Zealand (2007)
30COM Vilnius, Lithuania (2006)
29COM Durban, South Africa (2005)
28COM Suzhou, China (2004)
27COM UNESCO, Paris (2003)
26COM Budapest, Hungary (2002)
25COM Helsinki, Finland (2001)
24COM Cairns, Australia (2000)
23COM Marrakesh, Morocco (1999)
22COM Kyoto, Japan (1998)
21COM Naples, Italy (1997)
20COM Mérida, Mexico (1996)
19COM Berlin, Germany (1995)
18COM Phuket, Thailand (1994)
17COM Cartagena, Colombia (1993)
16COM Santa Fe, USA (1992)
15COM Carthage, Tunisia (1991)
14COM Banff, Canada (1990)
13COM UNESCO, Paris (1989)
12COM Brasilia, Brazil (1988)
11COM UNESCO, Paris (1987)
10COM UNESCO, Paris (1986)
09COM UNESCO, Paris (1985)
08COM Buenos Aires, Argentina (1984)
07COM Florence, Italy (1983)
06COM UNESCO, Paris (1982)
05COM Sydney, Australia (1981)
04COM UNESCO, Paris (1980)
03COM Luxor, Egypt (1979)
02COM Washington, D.C (1978)
01COM UNESCO, Paris (1977)

Extraordinary Sessions

16EXTCOM UNESCO, Paris (2021)
15EXTCOM Online (2021)
14EXTCOM Online (2020)
13EXTCOM UNESCO, Paris (2019)
12EXTCOM UNESCO, Paris (2017)
11EXTCOM UNESCO, Paris (2015)
10EXTCOM UNESCO, Paris (2011)
09EXTCOM UNESCO, Paris (2010)
08EXTCOM UNESCO, Paris (2007)
07EXTCOM UNESCO, Paris (2004)
06EXTCOM UNESCO, Paris (2003)
05EXTCOM UNESCO, Paris (2001)
04EXTCOM UNESCO, Paris (1999)
03EXTCOM UNESCO, Paris (1999)
02EXTCOM UNESCO, Paris (1997)
01EXTCOM UNESCO, Paris (1981)

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All Committee Decisions
All Committee Sessions
All Bureau meetings
News (26)
Decisions (3)
Code: 39COM 17
Title: Election of the Chairperson, Vice-Chairpersons and Rapporteur of the 40TH session of the World Heritage Committee (2016)
Year: 2015

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Recalling its Decision 38 COM 15, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014), which elected its Bureau whose mandate will be until the end of its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  2. Also recalling its Decision 39 COM 18 according to which its 40th session will take place in Istanbul, Turkey, from 10 to 20 July 2016,
  3. Recalls that the hosting of a World Heritage Committee session by a Committee member is subject to the host country signing a host country agreement in conformity with UNESCO’s rules and regulations and that host country agreements for category II meetings must be signed eight months in advance of the meeting;
  4. Also recalls that, pursuant to Rule 44.3 of the Rules of Procedure of the Committee, arrangements by the host country to provide interpretation in another language than the working languages of the Committee (English and French), or another official working languages recognized by the United Nations, should be in compliance with UNESCO’s rules, regulations and procedures;
  5. Decides to elect, in accordance with Rule 13.1 of the Rules of Procedure of the Committee, its Bureau with the following composition:
    1. H.E. Ambassador Gürcan TÜRKOLU (Turkey) as Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee, whose mandate will begin at the end of the 39th session of the Committee (Bonn, 2015) until the end of the 40th session of the Committee (2016),
    2. Lebanon,
      Peru,
      Philippines,
      Poland and
      Senegal (until the 20th session of the General Assembly)
      as Vice-Chairpersons of the World Heritage Committee, whose mandates will begin at the end of the 39th session of the Committee (Bonn, 2015) until the end of the 40th session of the Committee (2016),
    3. Mrs Eugene JO (Republic of Korea) as the Rapporteur of the World Heritage Committee whose mandates will begin at the end of the 39th session of the Committee (Bonn, 2015) until the end of the 40th session of the Committee (2016);
  6. Also decides that the Bureau of the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee (2017) will be elected at the end of the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee (2016) in accordance with Rule 13.1 of the Rules of Procedure of the World Heritage Committee;

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Code: 37COM 18A
Title: Provisional Agenda of the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee (2014)
Year: 2013

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/18A,

2.  Decides that its 38th session will take place in Doha, Qatar from 15 to 25 June 2014;

3.  Requests the World Heritage Centre to consult with the incoming Chairperson regarding the Provisional Agenda and a detailed timetable;

4.  Adopts the Provisional Agenda for the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee in 2014 as contained in Document WHC-13/37.COM/18A.

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Code: 06EXTCOM 3
Title: Revision of the Rules of Procedure of the World Heritage Committee
Year: 2003

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Adopts the Rules of Procedure as revised by the World Heritage Committee and included as Annex II to this document.
  2. Decides that it enter immediately into effect, with the exception of Rule 13.1. and for which the following transition provisions will be used:
    1. At the beginning of its 27th ordinary session (Suzhou, June/July 2003), the World Heritage Committee will elect a Bureau whose term will start at that session until the opening of the 28th ordinary session of the Committee (June 2004);
    2. At the beginning of its 28th ordinary session (June/July 2004), the World Heritage Committee will elect a Bureau whose term will start at that session and will last until the end of the 29th ordinary session (June 2005). Among the members of the Bureau, the Committee will designate a first Chairperson whose six-month mandate will extend from the 28th ordinary session (June 2004) until 31 December 2004, as well as a second Chairperson whose six-month mandate will extend from 1 January 2005 to the end of the 29th ordinary session in June 2005;
    3. New Rule 1 of the Rules of Procedure will enter into force starting from the 29th ordinary session of the Committee (June 2005).
  3. Requests the World Heritage Centre to include a Table of Contents to make the revised Rules of Procedure more user-friendly, and to arrange for the printing and distribution of the revised Rules of Procedure in advance of the 27th session of the World Heritage Committee (Suzhou, China, 29 June -5 July 2003).

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