Year end: 1981close
The Bureau felt that more precise information was needed regarding the details of the project, the realism of the salary scales proposed and the likelihood of the effective implementation of the project in the near future.
Sites: Simien National Park
The first session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (hereinafter referred to as the "Committee") was held in Paris from 27 June to 1 July 1977 and was attended by representatives of the fifteen States members of the Committee.
Representatives of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property, the International Council of Monuments and Sites and the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (hereinafter referred to as the "Rome Centre", "ICOMOS" and "IUCN" respectively) attended the meeting in an advisory capacity. The discussions were also followed by representatives of two other States Parties to the Convention, of the United Nations and of a non-governmental organization.
The full list of participants is to be found in Annex I to this report.
After welcoming the representatives of States members of the Committee, the Director-General underlined the importance of the meeting for the pursuit of one of the fundamental objectives of the Organization - the promotion of the preservation and presentation of the cultural and natural heritage of mankind. He stressed the innovative character of the World Heritage Convention under which the Committee was established: for the first time, an international convention was concerned with both the cultural and the natural elements of the environment of man and, again for the first time, the ...
The Committee elected by acclamation Mr. Firouz Bagherzadeh (Iran) as its Chairman.
A member of the Committee proposed that Rule 12 of the Provisional Rules of Procedure should be amended to provide for the election of four Vice-Chairmen. This proposal was supported by two members and adopted by the Committee. The Committee then proceeded to elect by acclamation the representatives of the Arab Republic of Egypt, France, Nigeria and Poland, as Vice-Chairmen, and Peter H. Bennett (Canada) as Rapporteur.
The Chairman invited the members of the Committee to examine the Provisional Agenda prepared by the Secretariat. The representative of the Director-General proposed that an item on "other matters" be added to the Agenda; under this item would be considered the offer of collaboration from the International Organization for the Protection of Works of Art (document CC-77/CONF.OO1/5) and the proposed donation of Professor Badawy (document CC-77/CONF.OO1/7). He also suggested that the methods of work of the Committee should not be discussed separately but rather in conjunction with items 7 and ...
With the above modifications and on the above understanding, the Agenda was adopted.
In reply to a suggestion that the Rules of Procedure should be examined by a working group which would report back to the Committee at a later plenary meeting, the Legal Adviser stated that, in the absence of a text formally approved by the Committee, the Provisional Rules of Procedure would prevail and he therefore proposed that they be examined at an early plenary meeting; this would not prevent the Committee from amending the Rules of procedure at a later stage, if necessary. He added that the Rules of Procedure would probably only assume their final form after two or three sessions of ...
Several amendments were proposed to bring greater clarity to the text or to reflect more closely the terms of the Convention. The Rules relating to the election of officers and to the voting procedures gave rise to some comment.
With respect to the eligibility for re-election of members of the Bureau, participants considered that, although rotation in the membership of the Bureau was necessary, continuity in the work of the Committee was of paramount importance. Various proposals followed, some providing for re-election of all officers and others for re-election of the Vice-Chairmen and the Rapporteur only. A further proposal which sought to limit the eligibility of all officers for immediate re-election to a second term of office was finally accepted.
An explanation was requested on the different weightings required for a majority vote under the terms of paragraphs 2 and 3 of Rule 28. The Legal Adviser referred members to paragraph 8 of Article 13 of the Convention·which stipulated that "Decisions of the Committee shall be taken by a majority of two-thirds of its members present and voting". This provision was included in an Article of the Convention dealing with substantive questions and not with procedural matters. It was therefore considered that a two-thirds majority should be required on substantive questions. However, ...
Participants requested that two points raised in connection with the Rules of Procedure be noted in the summary record. The first related to the meetings of the Committee which, in the opinion of one member, should be given wide publicity. The second concerned the suspension of the Rules of Procedure which, as confirmed by the Legal Adviser, could be initiated by any State member of the Committee.
A corrigendum setting cut the modifications made by the Committee, as well as an amendment proposed by the representative of the Director-General to Rule 8.2, was examined at the last meeting of the Committee which then proceeded to adopt unanimously the revised text of its Rules of Procedure. (Annex II)
The Chairman invited the members of the Committee to consider the main working document and gave the floor to the representative of the Director-General who introduced the document which had been prepared with the assistance of the Rome Centre, ICOMOS and IUCN.
Some discussion ensued on the method to be followed in examining the different points raised in the document and it was decided to establish two working groups with which the Rome Centre, ICOMOS and IUCN would be associated and which would review the proposed criteria for the inclusion of cultural and natural properties in the World Heritage List, and drafting group which would formulate the decisions taken by the Committee on other matters. The Committee proceeded to debate the general principles involved in establishing the World Heritage List and to examine, one by one, the other ...
It was the opinion of several members that the Committee should issue a statement on the whole philosophy underlying the Convention and, in particular, the need for a World Heritage List. Others felt that the discussion on the criteria for inclusion of properties in the List would necessarily raise the philosophical concepts involved.
Several members felt strongly that the World Heritage List should be exclusive and that, because of its impact, the List - in which balance would be sought geographically and between cultural and natural properties - should be drawn up with extreme care. Responsibility for ensuring the exclusive character of the List would rest first of all, with the States nominating properties and secondly, with the Committee which would have the right to reject nominations; the adoption of criteria which would be used by the Committee to filter nominations therefore constituted a very important first ...
The feasibility of adopting criteria gave rise to some discussion, with member's referring to the difficulty already experienced in establishing criteria at the national level, to the changing and subjective nature of evaluations of qualities, to the impact of Western thought and to the difference between perception from within a given culture and perception from outside. The representative of ICOMOS, in reply, recognized the difficulty of drafting criteria to be applied to cultural property throughout the world and of translating concepts into words that were meaningful on a universal ...