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World Heritage Convention

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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.
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.
7. 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 ...
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 ...
Hope was expressed that sufficient information would be provided to States to enable them to select properties that were truly eligible for inclusion in the List and that the criteria adopted would assist States in restricting their choice of properties nominated. In this connection, one proposal put forward sought to impose on States a limit in the number of properties that they might submit in the first instance but, on reflection this was not considered advisable. It was, however, decided that States would be advised to limit the number of nominations submitted at a given time, on the ...
Questions were raised with respect to the calendar for the submission of nominations to be examined at the second session of the Committee. Many members mentioned difficulties for their own national authorities in meeting the deadline of 1 April 1978, particularly in those countries where complete inventories had not yet been established. Several members strongly urged that technical co-operation should be financed under the Fund for the preparation of these inventories. The representative of the Director-General referred participants in this respect to the Convention which explicitly ...
Several members considered that an independent assessment by experts of the nominations submitted would be essential and it was proposed that the nominations should be transmitted, for comments and evaluation, to the Rome Centre, ICOMOS or IUCN, as appropriate.
One member considered that States not Parties to the Convention should be able to have properties nominated by a State Party for inclusion in the List. Other participants inquired about the possibility of nominating properties not situated in national territories, such as international sites, for instance the United Nations building in New York, or regions such as Antarctica. However, it was pointed out that the Convention was very explicit in this respect, Article II referring to the submission by each State Party of inventories of properties situated in its territory.
The Committee then proceeded to examine the working document paragraph by paragraph and to put forward their comments which would be taken into account by the drafting committee in formulating the decisions taken by the Committee.