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World Heritage Convention

Resolution 12 GA 9-12
Election of the Chairperson, Vice-Chairpersons and Rapporteur of the General Assembly

9. The General Assembly elected by acclamation H.E. Mr L.J. Hanrath (The Netherlands) as President of the General Assembly, the representatives of Grenada, India and Yemen as Vice Presidents, and Mr I. Monsi (Benin) as Rapporteur.

10. In his speech, the President of the General Assembly promised that he will do his very best to make the twelfth General Assembly a success which would be paramount to the prestige of the Convention. He recalled that it is the most visible activity of UNESCO. He referred to the problems which could jeopardise its success mainly: the growing number of nominations, the imbalances of the List, and emphasised the need to tackle these problems not just with words, but also with political will. He referred to a Note Verbale sent by the French  

Delegation to all the UNESCO Delegations which announced the withdrawal of their candidature to the Committee "for the sake of the system of rotation". He also referred to a written declaration of the Italian Delegation in which it pledged that if re-elected, it would resign after two years. He declared that this type of commitment and political will provided food for thought and were good examples for other Delegations. He announced that he would “come back to the French Note Verbale and Italian declaration under agenda item 8 “Ways and means to ensure a representative World Heritage List”.

11. He recalled that his own country, The Netherlands, had ratified the World Heritage Convention in 1992, and had never been a candidate to the Committee. Nevertheless, as an observer, the Netherlands had been working in the spirit of changes that were needed. He referred to the “Amsterdam meeting" in March 1998, which brought together natural and cultural heritage experts to define a holistic approach of the “Global Strategy”. He pointed out that in the last eight years, his country had submitted five nominations to the World Heritage List which all fall in under-represented categories of heritage.

12. Before thanking the General Assembly once again for his election he vowed to enhance the prestige and reputation of the Convention by working towards a change.

Summary Record of the 12th General Assembly of States Parties