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World Heritage Convention

Decision 44 COM 6
Follow-up to the World Heritage Capacity-Building Strategy and Progress report on the World Heritage-related category 2 centres

Decision: 44 COM 6

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/6,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 6, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Also recalling that capacity-building is one of the Strategic Objectives of the World Heritage Convention and is at the core of the sustainable implementation of the Convention and therefore is a priority for the effective implementation of the World Heritage Convention for all stakeholders;
  4. Expresses its concern over the challenges faced by the States Parties in the protection and conservation of World Heritage properties in the face of increased global economic, social, digital and environmental challenges, as well as the need to strengthen national and local capacities through enhanced knowledge exchange, capacity-building and training of current and future national and local officials in heritage conservation and management;
  5. Takes note of the need to enhance expert diversity, strengthen regional expertise, enhance skills to address issues at endangered sites, develop technical and vocational training modules for youth, develop competencies for all World Heritage stakeholders, improve the use of digital technologies within the process of identification, protection, conservation, presentation and transmission to future generations of the cultural and natural heritage, and to develop a strategic multi-stakeholder partnership programme to enhance the credibility and visibility of the World Heritage brand globally;
  6. Also takes note of the challenges faced by all stakeholders to maintain capacity-building activities during the global COVID-19 pandemic and commends the progress made by the States Parties, the World Heritage Centre, the Advisory Bodies, Category 2 Centres under the auspices of UNESCO (C2Cs) related to World Heritage as well as the UNESCO Chairs with the implementation of the World Heritage Capacity-Building Strategy (WHCBS), and notably the efforts to adapt capacity-building activities during the global COVID-19 pandemic;
  7. Takes note of the implementation of the regional capacity-building strategies and initiatives, and calls upon States Parties and all concerned partners and stakeholders to follow up on the implementation of the strategies developed for each region;
  8. Thanks the Governments of Norway, the Republic of Korea and Switzerland for the financial support they extended to the WHCBS and the World Heritage Leadership Programme, also thanks the Governments of the People’s Republic of China and Oman for supporting World Heritage Capacity-building activities in Africa, and encourages States Parties and other stakeholders to continue supporting the implementation of the WHCBS by providing financial support and/or by reinforcing the human resources of the institutions involved;
  9. Also recalling that Category 2 Centres under the auspices of UNESCO and UNESCO Chairs have the mandate of contributing to the implementation of the Organization’s strategic priorities, programmes and global development agendas, notably through capacity building, welcomes the progress made by Category 2 Centres and UNESCO Chairs related to World Heritage with the implementation of their activities, also calls upon interested stakeholders to support these Category 2 Centres, UNESCO Chairs and their activities, and also encourages States Parties to make full use of the services and resources that Category 2 Centres provide, in a spirit of international cooperation;
  10. Also takes note of the 10-year anniversary of the WHCBS in 2021 and, further recalling its request for an evaluation of the WHCBS, notes that no funding has been made available for this purpose to date, and therefore will consider reallocating USD 30,000 as seed money from the World Heritage Fund under item 14 of the agenda, to initiate the evaluation and the creation of a new WHCBS;
  11. Requests the World Heritage Centre and ICCROM, in cooperation with IUCN and ICOMOS, to submit an independent results-based evaluation of the outcomes of the WHCBS, based on close consultation and a participatory, transparent, and inclusive process with the States Parties and other capacity building stakeholders and beneficiaries, for examination at its 45th session;
  12. Notes with appreciation the generous financial support offered by the State Party of Saudi Arabia to conduct the abovementioned independent evaluation of the WHCBS;
  13. Also requests, based on the independent results-based evaluation and assessment of the outcomes of the WHCBS, and taking into account the results of the Periodic Reporting process, that a new WHCBS with clear priorities, strategic objectives, expected outputs and outcomes, and relevant indicators be developed for a time period of 2023-2032 and presented, if funding allows, for review at its 46th session;
  14. Reiterates its invitation to States Parties to contribute financial resources for the renewal of the WHCBS through earmarked contributions to the World Heritage Fund or by providing extra-budgetary support to the World Heritage Centre for this purpose;
  15. Finally requests the World Heritage Centre and ICCROM to submit a progress report on the implementation of the WHCBS, for examination at its 45th session.
Decision Code
44 COM 6
Budget, Capacity Building