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World Heritage Convention

Decision 40 COM 7B.55
Auschwitz Birkenau German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940-1945) (Poland) (C 31)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 7B.115, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),
  3. Acknowledges the details provided by the State Party on the ongoing projects including progress made in the management of visitors including with advanced booking systems, the express route and the start of a restoration initiative of the barracks in Auschwitz;
  4. Welcomes the development of the detailed Conservation Strategy and urges the State Party to ensure that its Guidelines are followed;
  5. Whilst understanding that the proposed expressway and south ring road of Oświęcim have been approved in principle, subject to environmental decisions, reiterates its request to the State Party to undertake as soon as possible a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) of the overall project, and to submit this, together with details as to how this project relates to other proposed road schemes in Brzezinka and elsewhere, to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, before irreversible commitments are made;
  6. Also welcomes the start of the restoration project of the two brick prisoner barracks and requests the State Party to submit further details on the restoration principles at use with documentation in order that good practice be established for further application in other parts of the property;
  7. In light of the various transformations that are taking place to accommodate the nearly two million visitors arriving at the property each year, also requests the State Party to provide more information on how the various projects and necessary infrastructure will be provided in symbiosis with the surroundings of the property, in line with the Conservation Guidelines, while respecting the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;
  8. Also reiterates it request that HIAs are undertaken for all projects before any decisions are taken, in order to define clearly potential impacts on the attributes of OUV;
  9. Notes with satisfaction that the Retrospective Statement of OUV of the property has been finalized and submitted to the World Heritage Committee for adoption (Document WHC/16/40.COM/8E);
  10. Considers that there is a need for a governance system that brings together all the stakeholders at the property and for a clearer multi-disciplinary management approach that is based on OUV, and further welcomes the suggestion of a programme to facilitate more positive relationships with the local community;
  11. In order to undertake a dialogue with the State Party on how best these issues might be addressed, further requests the State Party to invite an ICOMOS Advisory mission to the property;
  12. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2017, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 42nd session in 2018.
Report of the Decisions adopted during the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016)
Context of Decision