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World Heritage Convention

Resolution 12 GA 49-53
Elections to the World Heritage Committee

49. Under item 9 of the agenda, the General Assembly was called upon to elect seven members of the World Heritage Committee, to replace the following seven members whose mandate would expire at the end of the thirtieth session of the General Conference: Brazil, France, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Niger, United States of America. The list of candidates was read out to the General Assembly: Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Cameroon, China, Colombia, Egypt, Guatemala, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Mongolia, Portugal, Slovakia, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Vietnam. Nigeria and Syria announced the withdrawal of their candidatures. The President decided that Indonesia, whose contribution had not been received by the Bureau of the Comptroller at 10:00 a.m. on 29 October 1999, a few minutes before the first ballot, could not present its candidature, in accordance with Article 16.5 of the Convention. The Legal Advisor announced that the vote by secret ballot had to be carried out in conformity with Article 13.1 of the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly.

50. The results of the first ballot were as follows:

Number of States Parties eligible to vote: 156

Number of voters: 134

Number of abstentions and invalid papers:  0

Majority required: 68

Algeria (21 votes); Argentina (49); Armenia (11); Austria (28); Belgium (72); Cameroon (10); China (52); Colombia (86); Egypt (46); Guatemala (42); Italy (53); Jamaica (15); Japan (29); Jordan (14); Lebanon (44); Mongolia (9); Portugal (73); Slovakia (19); South Africa (64); Tunisia (32); Uganda (9); United Kingdom (52); United Republic of Tanzania (16); Vietnam (40).

The President declared Belgium, Colombia and Portugal as elected.

51. In accordance with the Rules of Procedure, the second ballot was to be limited to those States having obtained the greatest number of votes, provided that the number of States did not exceed twice the number of seats remaining to be filled.

The results of the second ballot were as follows:

Number of voters: 136
Abstentions: 0
Invalid papers: 2
Majority required: 69

Argentina (57); China (74); Egypt (65); Guatemala (49); Italy (69); Lebanon (46); South Africa (85); United Kingdom (61).

The President of the Assembly declared China, Italy and South Africa as elected.

52. One seat remained to be filled and a third ballot was organized with twice the number of candidate States, these being Egypt and the United Kingdom which had obtained the highest number of votes. Before the third ballot, the United Kingdom requested and was granted the permission to make the following statement:

“The UK is very grateful for the considerable support it has received from so many countries towards it candidacy for the Committee. That support has been most generous and gratifying.

The UK, since rejoining UNESCO in 1997, has been a very strong supporter of the Convention and has enthusiastically taken part in the debates which have taken place about the need for greater representativity both in the World Heritage List itself, and in the procedures of the Convention.

The UK has observed that on this occasion three Western European countries have already been selected to the Committee, but only one representative each of Africa, Asia and Latin America, and none from the Arab States.
The UK believes strongly in the need for rotation and a proper balance of representation in the work of the Committee. It accordingly feels that it would now be wrong to press its own candidature further on this occasion. In doing so, it asks all those would have voted for it to instead support the election of Egypt, a country from the Arab States which is well-qualified to serve on the Committee, as this will ensure a better degree of balance in the Committee’s representation.

The UK nevertheless wishes to express its continuing support for the Convention and the important work of the Committee. It hopes to be able to continue to pay a prominent part, even as an observer, and it declares now that it will certainly wish to put itself forward again for election to the Committee on the next occasion.

May I end by thanking all of those whose support for the UK’s candidacy has been so valuable and by asking them to now support the course of action which was believed to be right”.

53. This statement was favourably welcomed by the General Assembly which thus elected Egypt by acclamation. To close this agenda item on elections, the President of the General Assembly congratulated the new members of the Committee (Belgium, China, Columbia, Egypt, Italy, Portugal and South Africa) and announced its new composition.

Resolution Code
12 GA 49-53
Administration, Working methods and tools
Summary Record of the 12th General Assembly of States Parties