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World Heritage Convention

Decision 28 COM 12
Proposals concerning the preparation of the draft programme and budget 2006-2007 (draft 33C/5)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Considering that the 1972 Convention concerning the protection of the world cultural and natural heritage has proved to be one of the most successful and visible programmes of UNESCO and is reflected in its designation as a UNESCO flagship programme in UNESCO's Medium-Term Strategy (2002-2007),

2. Noting that the resources available to the World Heritage Centre from the Regular Budget have increased in the 32 C/5, complemented further by a onetime additional US$1,000,000 allocation from the contribution of the United States of America, while the resources provided by the World Heritage Fund have decreased by US$3,169,268 resulting in an overall reduction of programme resources available to the World Heritage Centre;

3. Recalling that at its 26th session (Budapest 2002), the World Heritage Committee requested the Director-General of UNESCO consult it on the preparation of the World Heritage content of future biennial Programme and Budget (document C/5) and Medium-Term Strategies (document C/4),

4. Further recalling the debates at the 14th General Assembly of States Parties to the 1972 World Heritage Convention, in particular Resolution 14 GA 5, and at the 169th session of the Executive Board, in particular 169EX/Decision 3.7.3,

5. Noting with concern that there are critical gaps in the capacity of the World Heritage Centre to carry out its core tasks in relation to the States Parties, in particular in the Latin America and Caribbean, Europe and North America and Policy and Statutory Implementation units, as well as permanent staff Decisions adopted at the 28th session of the World Heritage WHC-04/28 COM/26, p.9 Committee (Suzhou, 2004) exclusively dedicated to natural heritage,

6. Further noting that the resources currently allocated through the Regular Budget are inadequate to meet satisfactorily the priorities of the World Heritage Committee, notably the 4 strategic objectives (Credibility, Conservation, Capacity-building and Communication) including the need to communicate about World Heritage in order fully to unlock the potential of the World Heritage Convention,

7. Acknowledging the complementary support provided through bi-lateral agreements with States Parties and partners, encourages the World Heritage Centre to continue in its efforts to develop new partnerships in support of the programmatic priorities identified by the World Heritage Committee,

8. Invites the Director-General to take account in his preliminary proposals for the 33 C/5:

a) the request for strengthening the World Heritage Centre as expressed in 169EX/Decision 3.7.3, in particular its human resources, and to make appropriate provision in the elaboration of the 33 C/5 following the 171st session of the Executive Board;

b) the appropriate steps to consolidate the role of the World Heritage Centre as the Secretariat to the Committee and as co-ordinator for all UNESCO activities and communications on World Heritage;

c) the following priority areas for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention:
(i) the 4 Strategic Objectives of the Committee as set out in the 2002 Budapest Declaration on World Heritage,
(ii) the implementation of the Suzhou/Cairns decision to address issues of capacity building and a credible and more representative World Heritage List,
(iii) the implementation of the Regional programmes developed on the basis of the results of the Periodic Reporting exercise,
(iv) the further development of the PACT Initiative (World Heritage Partnerships for Conservation) in order to mobilize additional resources and technical skills to assist in the implementation of these strategic objectives,
(v) the development of a risk preparedness strategy for World Heritage in collaboration with other relevant UNESCO sectors and regional offices, UN wide agencies and other organizations active in this area,

9. Considers that the 33C/5 should also envisage greater coordination and coDecisions adopted at the 28th session of the World Heritage WHC-04/28 COM/26, p.10 Committee (Suzhou, 2004) operation between the World Heritage Centre and other sectors of UNESCO, as well as coordination between the 1972 World Heritage Convention and other UNESCO Conventions and Recommendations relevant to cultural heritage, notably the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, and protected area programmes and Conventions adopted within and outside the framework of UNESCO, and requests the World Heritage Centre to present a document regarding this matter as a basis for discussion at its 7th Extraordinary session,

10. Requests the World Heritage Centre to present a document to the 29th session of the Committee in 2005 as the basis for a discussion about the evaluation of the achievements made in pursuit of the Committee's strategic objectives, to be presented to the Committee at its 31st session in 2007, and the future strategic framework of World Heritage in the context of the preparation of the future UNESCO Medium-Term Strategy for 2007-2012.

Decisions of the 28th session of the World Heritage Committee
Context of Decision