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Decision 39 COM 11
Revision of the Operational Guidelines

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/11, WHC-15/39.COM/10.B, WHC-15/39.COM/13A and WHC-15/39.COM/INF.13A,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 12.II, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
  3. Decides to establish a Consultative Body under Rule 20 of the Rules of Procedure during its 39th session;
  4. Adopts the proposed revisions of the Operational Guidelines, as presented in the marked-up version attached to this Decision[1], namely concerning paragraphs 28, 31, 38, 40, 44, 62, 66, 71, 80, 98, 99, 102, 111, 112, 115, 116, 122, 123, 128, 132, 140, 141, 143, 148, 149, 155, 159, 160, 164, 165, 166, 168, 169, 176, 180, 181, 184, 192, 232, 241, 252, 260, 262, 263, 265, 266, 275, 276, 278, Annex 2B, 5, 6, 13 and 14 as well as the Bibliography;
  5. Decides to extend the mandate of the ad hoc working group extended by one extra regional group representative who is not a member of the World Heritage Committee, established at the 38th session (Doha, 2014) to be convened by Turkey, to further discuss and make recommendations on Paragraph 61 as well as on the sustainability of the World Heritage Fund;
  6. Further decides to suggest that the 20th General Assembly of States Parties in November 2015 discuss the recommendations of the ad hoc working group in order for the latter to submit its final recommendations to the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee in 2016 for a decision;
  7. Requests the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, to produce, subject to extra-budgetary funding, a guidance document on urban heritage, including its definition, identification, conservation and management, based on the Historic Urban Landscape approach;
  8. Also decides that Annex 3 to the Operational Guidelines should be reviewed entirely so as to include definitions and relevant guidance for States Parties in the preparation of Tentative Lists, nominations, management and reporting systems and also requests the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to organise an Experts meeting, subject to extra-budgetary funding, to provide recommendations for the revision of Annex 3;
  9. Welcomes the reflections on the interaction between the World Heritage Convention and the 1954 Hague Convention and its Second Protocol (1999) and further requests the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, in consultation with the Secretariat of the Hague Convention (1954), to consider options for further developing concrete synergies and coordinating reporting mechanisms between the World Heritage Convention and the Second Protocol (1999) of the Hague Convention (1954) for the next revision of the Operational Guidelines in 2017 and while revising the Periodic Reporting Format during the Reflection Period towards the Third Cycle of Periodic Reporting;
  10. Also welcomes the inclusion of paragraphs which address issues related to indigenous peoples and World Heritage and reiterates its decision to re-examine the recommendations of the International Expert Workshop on the World Heritage Convention and Indigenous Peoples (Copenhagen, 2012) following the results of the discussions to be held by the Executive Board on the UNESCO policy on indigenous peoples;
  11. Also decides, on an exceptional basis, to re-examine Paragraphs 61 and 68 as well as Annex 2A at its 40th session in 2016;
  12. Further requests the World Heritage Centre to propose a revised version of Chapter V and Annex 7 of the Operational Guidelines to be examined by the Committee at its 41th session in 2017;
  13. Requests furthermore the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies to undertake consultations on Paragraph 108 and subsequent paragraphs where references are made to management plans and management systems in order to address inconsistencies and ambiguities, and to provide further clarifications based on current thinking and the contents of the Resource Manuals, for consideration during the next revision of the Operational Guidelines in 2019;
  14. Requests furthermore the World Heritage Centre to proceed with the corrections of language inconsistencies between the English and French versions of the Operational Guidelines.

[1] The adopted version, dated 8 July 2015, is available in PDF format at the following web address: https://whc.unesco.org/en/sessions/39COM/decisions

Decision Code
39 COM 11
Operational Guidelines