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World Heritage Convention

Decision 45 COM 7A.40
Ancient City of Aleppo (Syrian Arab Republic) (C 21)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/23/45.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decisions 44 COM 7A.18 and 44 COM 7A.24 adopted at its extended 44th session (Fuzhou/online, 2021),
  3. Taking into account Decision 45 COM 7A.46 on the World Heritage properties of the Syrian Arab Republic,
  4. Taking note of the UNESCO Rapid Assessment mission carried out to the property in February 2023 following the devastating earthquake, expresses great concerns about the damage inflicted at the property, which poses additional challenges to recovery efforts;
  5. Notes with appreciation that safety measures were implemented in the Old City to protect inhabitants from risks of collapse of damaged structures, as previously requested by the Committee, and encourages the State Party to stabilize and consolidate the original fabric and architectural details, where possible, in preference to dismantling;
  6. Taking note of the continued efforts towards the recovery of the property since December 2016, reiterates its encouragement to all stakeholders to continue their efforts, and requests that repair and reconstruction uses matching stone and that planning for reconstruction ensures the authenticity of design and materials,
  7. Reminds the State Party of its obligation to submit information on major projects to the World Heritage Centre, in compliance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  8. Also reminds the State Party of the need to develop a Reconstruction and Recovery Master Plan and an updated Management Plan for the property, and recommends that these plans be developed in line with the 2011 Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape and in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;
  9. Calls again on all States Parties to support the emergency safeguarding and recovery measures, including through the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund;
  10. Reiterates the need for the invited joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission to be carried out as soon as the situation allows, in order to proceed with a comprehensive assessment of the state of conservation of the property;
  11. Invites the State Party, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to facilitate the elaboration of the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) and a set of corrective measures at the earliest opportunity;
  12. Noting the previously reported issuance of a regulation for the creation of a buffer zone, also reiterates its encouragement to the State Party to submit a proposal for a minor boundary modification to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2024, in accordance with Paragraphs 163-164 of the Operational Guidelines, for review by ICOMOS;
  13. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2024, 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 46th session;
  14. Decides to retain Ancient City of Aleppo (Syrian Arab Republic) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Context of Decision