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World Heritage Convention

Decision 44 COM 7A.9
General Decision on the World Heritage properties of Iraq

Decision: 44 COM 7A.9

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7A.21, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Takes note of the reports provided by the State Party regarding the state of conservation of the properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger, and continues to express its concern about the lack of comprehensive and detailed assessment of the properties affected by the conflict and about the limited resources available for the safeguarding of affected cultural heritage;
  4. Expresses its appreciation to the Director-General of UNESCO for the progress made towards safeguarding cultural heritage in the Old City of Mosul, and for the expertise and resources mobilized so far within UNESCO’s “Revive the Spirit of Mosul” flagship initiative, and also expresses its appreciation to the donors for their generous contributions towards this end;
  5. Requests the State Party to submit updated documentation of damage incurred at World Heritage properties, including systematic photographic surveys, drawings, graphics, quantitative data and identification of potential risks, to safeguard damaged properties according to the principle of minimal intervention, and to refrain from undertaking conservation and restoration work until comprehensive conservation plans have been developed, in full consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;
  6. Reminds the State Party about the need to submit to the World Heritage Centre, for examination by the Advisory Bodies, information on any future plans for major restoration or new construction projects that may affect the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of World Heritage properties, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse;
  7. Reiterates its appeal to all States Parties to cooperate in the fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural heritage coming from Iraq as per the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 2199 of February 2015, 2253 of December 2015 and 2347 of March 2017, and encourages the State Party to ratify the Second Protocol (1999) to the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict;
  8. Calls again on all States Parties to provide technical and financial support to safeguarding efforts for Iraq’s World Heritage and other cultural heritage sites, including through the “Revive the Spirit of Mosul” initiative, in order to implement short-, medium- and long-term measures;
  9. Also requests the World Heritage Centre to present at its 45th session in 2022 a report on the activities related to cultural heritage undertaken within the framework of the “Revive the Spirit of Mosul” initiative;
  10. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2022, an updated report on the state of conservation of the properties and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 45th session.
Decisions adopted at the 44th extended session of the World Heritage Committee
Context of Decision