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World Heritage Convention

Resolution 20 GA 13
World Heritage and Sustainable Development

The General Assembly,

  1. Having examined Documents WHC-15/20.GA/13 and WHC-15/20.GA/INF.13,
  2. Recalling Decisions 36 COM 5C, 38 COM 5D, and 39 COM 5D, adopted respectively at the 36th (Saint Petersburg, 2012), 38th (Doha, 2014), and 39th (Bonn, 2015) sessions of the World Heritage Committee,
  3. Thanks the Technical University of Brandenburg, the Government of Germany and the Government of Viet Nam for their support in the development of the draft policy document on the integration of a sustainable development perspective into the processes of the World Heritage Convention;
  4. Welcomes the work accomplished by the group of experts on a voluntary basis despite the lack of resources, under the coordination of the World Heritage Centre, and in close consultation with the Advisory Bodies, to develop the draft of the policy document annexed to Document WHC-15/39.COM/5D;
  5. Notes the debate on this item that took place at the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee (Bonn, 2015), the comments expressed by the States Parties on this draft through a broad consultation process, as well as the main outcomes of UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda;
  6. Adopts the revised policy document as a first step toward the integration of a sustainable development perspective into the implementation processes of the Convention, contained in document WHC-15/20.GA/INF.13 as amended;
  7. Invites the World Heritage Centre and States Parties to continue engagement through an ongoing consultation process involving all stakeholders to enrich the policy document and invites the World Heritage Centre to provide an update on progress made to the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee (Istanbul, 2016);
  8. Requests the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, in consultation with States Parties and all relevant stakeholders, to elaborate and submit for the consideration of the Committee – once a clear framework for the future Policy Guidelines, including its scope and structure, has been adopted by the General Assembly, and within the available resources – proposals for:
    1. the necessary changes to the Operational Guidelines, which would translate the principles of the policy document on sustainable development into specific operational procedures,
    2. indicators for measuring the progress of the policy’s implementation;
    3. capacity-building initiatives, needed to enable implementation, including an indication of the related costs;
  9. Calls on States Parties to contribute financially towards this end;
  10. Encourages the World Heritage Centre to sensitize States Parties, as appropriate, to the implications of the policy, notably in terms of the need to establish appropriate governance mechanisms to achieve the right balance between World Heritage and Sustainable Development, and integration between the protection of the Outstanding Universal Value of World Heritage properties and the pursuit of sustainable development objectives and to that same end encourages the World Heritage Centre to cooperate with all of UNESCO’s sectors and in particular with the relevant programmes such as MAB and MOST;
  11. Also encourages UNESCO and the Advisory Bodies to widely disseminate the Policy Document as adopted by the General Assembly, and other related publications, to the world heritage community and the broader public, and promote its application;
  12. Recommends that Category 2 Centres and UNESCO Chairs related to World Heritage, and the wider network of the UNESCO Forum University and Heritage, prioritize issues related to the implementation of this policy within their capacity-building and research initiatives;
  13. Further requests the World Heritage Centre to present to the General Assembly, at its 21st session in 2017, a report on the progress made in the implementation of the above provisions.
Resolutions adopted by the General Assembly
Context of Resolution