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World Heritage Convention

Decision 14 COM XV
Other Business

Equitable representation of different regions and cultures of the world

58. The Committee considered the document on Equitable Representation (CC-90/CONF.004/INF.4). The Secretariat noted that it had followed this question closely over years and that it was difficult to make any more suggestions since ultimately this was a decision for the Committee. 

59. In respect of paragraph 5(iii), the Secretariat emphasized that it could be difficult for States to indicate at the time of their candidature the names of experts who would represent them for the duration of their term of office. Recognizing this problem and the need for the system to remain flexible, the Committee decided to submit to the General Assembly the proposals contained in paragraph 5 with the exception of that relating to the names of experts.

Information on Berinq Region

60. The representative of the United States of America called the attention of the Committee to the establishment by the Governments of the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics of a Working Group on Heritage Conservation and Management. The Working Group had completed a joint report on the significant shared natural and cultural heritage of the Bering Region, copies of which were provided to the Committee.

61. The Report was endorsed by the Presidents of the USA and the USSR in June 1990 with a statement calling for continued co-operation towards a US-Soviet International Park.

62. Recalling the IUCN General Assembly Resolutions of 1988 and 1990, encouraging both governments to also consider a joint World Heritage nomination of the area, the representative of the USA and the observer from the USSR confirmed their governments continued interest in a possible joint nomination.

63. The Committee commended both governments for this initiative.

Other matters

64. The Committee instructed the Secretariat to prepare its report to the General Conference. This report will be submitted to the Bureau, which is authorized to approve it, at its fifteenth session.

65. The Bureau held a special session during the Committee meeting and met four times to examine nominations which had been referred back to the nominating State for additional information, to examine requests for technical assistance and the budget for 1991.

66. The Secretariat drew the Committee's attention to a decision made

at the Committee's thirteenth session, to the effect that "States Parties that are behind in their payments for the biennium considered would not be able to obtain international assistance financed by the Fund, except in unusual circumstances or emergencies." The Committee had asked the Secretariat to amend the Operational Guidelines accordingly. The Secretariat explained to the Committee that it had intentionally not done so, since experience during 1990 had shown that the Committee's decision as it had been worded was too ambiguous to allow clear interpretation and implementation. The Committee admitted that this problem must be resolved as soon as possible, with the understanding that consistent measures must be implemented without penalizing sites endangered by emergencies. The Committee therefore asked the Secretariat to prepare a proposal in this regard, which the Bureau will use as a basis for discussion at its next session.

67. The Committee wished to confirm its 1989 decision to finance attendance at sessions of the Committee and the Bureau by experts from least developed countries (LDCs) who are members of the Committee. The Committee wished to specify that this decision should be very strictly applied and that assuming the costs could be justified only for attendance at sessions of natural and cultural conservation experts.

68. The representative of Canada informed the Committee of the problems that could be posed by the inclusion of an already listed site within a larger site. For instance, such was the case in Canada, with regard to the Burgess Shale site, whose scientific importance was universally recognized. Now part of the Canadian Rocky Mountains Parks World Heritage site, it is no longer identified as the Burgess Shale site on the List. The Committee recalled that this has also arisen with respect to other properties, the value of which had nonetheless been enhanced by the change.

Decision Code
Budget, Credibility of the World Heritage List, Outstanding Universal Value
Context of Decision