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World Heritage Convention

Decision 45 COM 7B.40
Gebel Barkal and the Sites of the Napatan Region (Sudan) (C 1073)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/23/45.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 44 COM 7B.17 adopted at its extended 44th session (Fuzhou/online, 2021),
  3. Expresses its great concern about the armed conflict that erupted in April 2023 and the ensuing instability, which has impacted communities and all sectors of society, and may further affect the management capabilities at the property, and calls on all parties involved in the conflict to refrain from any action that could cause damage to the property;
  4. Commends the State Party for its efforts to implement some of its Decisions and recommendations of the 2019 mission, despite significant challenges, and prior to the recent conflict of 2023;
  5. Continues to express serious concern at the overall state of conservation of the property, which is seriously threatened by alarming levels of fabric degradation as a result of environmental factors, including heavy rainfall and potential flooding, absence of adequate controls, lack of appropriate maintenance, inadequate museum and storage facilities, lack of management planning, ineffective coordination of archaeological missions, absence of an integrated strategy for the conservation of newly-excavated archaeological features, urban encroachment and development projects, all of which are impacting negatively on the attributes, which support the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;
  6. Welcomes the works undertaken for the elaboration of a 5-year comprehensive action plan, as recommended by the 2019 Reactive Monitoring mission, to address the management structure, legal instruments, inventories, documentation, conservation, restoration, development, community involvement and tourism management;
  7. Requests the State Party to give high priority to the conservation of already existing or current excavations and to ensure that no new archaeological excavations occur, unless a holistic approach is taken into consideration with conservation as a priority, and encourages the international archaeological missions to assist with the necessary conservation works, once conditions permit;
  8. Notes that urgent measures are required at the property to reverse the alarming level of deterioration, and also requests the State Party to implement all of the recommendations of the 2019 Reactive Monitoring mission and the 2020 UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund mission as a matter of urgency, when feasible;
  9. Reminds the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, detailed information of any future works that may affect the OUV of the property, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  10. Also urges the State Party to continue its efforts with regard to defining the boundaries of the property, as a matter of urgency, and also reminds the State Party to submit a Minor Boundary Modification, with property delimitations of the buffer zone, in line with Paragraph 164 of the Operational Guidelines;
  11. Calls on the international community to continue to support the State Party’s urgent protection and management work through financial and technical assistance;
  12. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2024, a report on the state of conservation of the property and on the steps taken to implement the recommendations above mentioned, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 46th session, considering that the urgent conservation needs of this property require a broad mobilization to preserve its Outstanding Universal Value, including the possible inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Context of Decision