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Meeting of Arab States World Heritage Site Manager in Manama in the framework of Periodic Reporting

Monday 29 Apr 2019
Wednesday 01 May 2019
(29/04/2019) © UNESCO | Valentino Etowar
On 29 and 30 April 2019, World Heritage Site Managers of the Arab States region came together in Manama, Bahrain, for a workshop in the framework of the Third Cycle of Periodic Reporting, which is currently being implemented in the region.

The aim of the workshop was to familiarize particularly the francophone Site Managers of the Arab States Region with the Periodic Reporting processes and to provide them with the necessary information and tools on this statutory exercise of the World Heritage Convention.

Over the course of the 2-day workshop, participants from the following countries: Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Tunisia, Morocco and Syria, were introduced to the concept of Outstanding Universal Value with a focus to  attributes, the identification of  factors affecting the properties and key information on the synergies with other UNESCO cultural conventions as well.

After the theoretical session, participants were later divided into groups and were invited to fill in their questionnaire.  During this group work session, they responded to numerous questions regarding the process as well as content and technical aspects of the questionnaire.  The Site Managers shared that the group work was an enriching opportunity to discuss, learn and share with other Site Managers of the region similar World Heritage issues, good practices and experiences.

Periodic Reporting is one of the core conservation monitoring mechanisms of the World Heritage Convention. Every six years, the States Parties are invited to submit to the World Heritage Committee a Periodic Report on the application of the World Heritage Convention in their territory. 

This workshop was organised by the World Heritage Centre, in close cooperation with the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage (ARC-WH) and the UNESCO Office in Cairo.

A side-event is foreseen on the 4 July 2019 at the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee (Baku, Azerbaijan) to present the activities carried out so far in the Arab States region on the reporting period (September 2018 – July 2019).  This event will be the occasion to showcase the experience of a National Focal Point and a Site Managers who will talk on their experience on the exercise.

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Monday, 29 April 2019
Wednesday, 1 May 2019

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Manama, Bahrain
Decisions (2)
Code: 42COM 10A
Title: Progress Report on the Preparation of the Third Cycle of Periodic Reporting

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/10A,
  2. Takes note with appreciation of the World Heritage Centre’s efforts to implement the Decision 41 COM 10A, and in particular of the set of training and guidance materials which have been developed to ensure a holistic approach to the Periodic Reporting Exercise in the Third Cycle and to facilitate a State-Party driven exercise;
  3. Requests that the World Heritage Centre make these resources available to a broad range of World Heritage stakeholders and ensure that they are widely disseminated to foster effective preparation in the regions, in particular for the Arab States Region as the first region to report in the period 2018–2019;
  4. Also takes note of the ongoing work on the Analytical Framework for the Third Cycle of Periodic Reporting, and encourages the World Heritage Centre to continue to develop new methods of analysis and technical improvements for the Third Cycle of Periodic Reporting;
  5. Reconfirms that, as per previous practice, the Periodic Reporting questionnaire will be accessible electronically to the relevant region from September of each reporting year, and that completed questionnaires should be submitted by July of the following year;
  6. Requests the World Heritage Centre to submit to the Committee a progress report on the overall conduct and coordination of the Third Cycle of Periodic Reporting at its 43rd session in 2019;
  7. Welcomes the offer of the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage (ARC-WH) to assist in facilitating the Periodic Reporting exercise in the Arab States region, organize regional meetings and provide targeted technical support to States Parties, in close collaboration with the World Heritage Centre.

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Code: 41COM 10A
Title: Report on the Periodic Reporting Reflection (2015-2017) and Launch of the Third Cycle

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/10A,
  2. Recalling Decisions 38 COM 5F.2, 39 COM 10B.5, and 40 COM 10A, adopted at its 38th (Doha, 2014), 39th (Bonn, 2015) and 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) sessions respectively,
  3. Notes with appreciation the successful implementation of the Reflection Period by the Secretariat, in consultation with the Advisory Bodies, and the use of innovative and cost-effective working methods;
  4. Commends the Periodic Reporting Reflection Expert Group for the extensive and in-depth work carried out;
  5. Thanks all States Parties who volunteered to participate in the Testing Phase for their active engagement in the Periodic Reporting Reflection;
  6. Welcomes the recommendations and improvements proposed with regard to the format, content, relevance, analysis and use of data in the Periodic Reporting process;
  7. Also welcomes the inclusion in the revised questionnaire of questions relating to synergies with other international instruments and programmes on cultural and natural heritage; questions relating to the implementation of the 1972 UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Protection, at National level, of the Cultural and Natural Heritage and to the 2011 Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape, as well as questions assessing the implementation of the World Heritage Policy for integrating a sustainable development perspective into the processes of the World Heritage Convention, and of other key policies adopted by the World Heritage Committee;
  8. Further welcomes the development of strengthened and comprehensive indicators to improve follow-up on progress made by State Parties in the implementation of the Convention as well as the 1972 Recommendation concerning the Protection, at National Level, of the Cultural and Natural Heritage, further to the Recommendation of the Evaluation of UNESCO’s Standard-Setting Work of the Culture Sector (Part III – 1972 Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage);
  9. Takes note with appreciation of the analytical framework developed by the Expert Group and decides that it will be used as a global template for the analysis of data, for all regions, during the Third Cycle of Periodic Reporting;
  10. Also takes note of the feasibility study concerning the production of a global World Heritage report and recommends that further work on the format and resourcing of the report be carried out using responses from States Parties and Site Managers in the first years of the Third Cycle;
  11. Also decides to maintain the order of regions and the 6-year periodicity of the Periodic Reporting cycles, with one region reporting every year (Arab States, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe and North America) and one year between cycles for a reflection, if necessary, and for the production of a global report on the basis of the outcomes of the cycle across all regions;
  12. Further decides to officially launch the Third Cycle (2017-2022), but in view of the need to allow sufficient time for appropriate preparation, by the Secretariat, and by the States Parties of the Arab States region, exceptionally postpones the start of the Periodic Reporting of all regions by one year, starting with the Arab States region in 2018, followed by the Africa region in 2019, and so on;
  13. Encourages the active engagement of the States Parties in the following reporting cycles, and furthermore decides, that, in view of the current financial and human resources constraints of the World Heritage Centre, its role should consist of ensuring a holistic approach across regions, by providing overall coordination, guidance tools and analysis, as well as facilitating a State Party-driven approach, and invites the States Parties to contribute extrabudgetary resources for this purpose, and further decides, in case the resources are insufficient to ensure continuity, to supplement the funding of an extra-budgetary position from the Periodic Reporting budget line in the World Heritage Fund;
  14. Approves the revised Chapter V of the Operational Guidelines “Periodic Reporting on the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention” and the revised Annex 7 to the Operational Guidelines, on the Format of the Periodic Reporting Questionnaire, contained in Annex IV of Document WHC/17/41.COM/10A.

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