Taking into account the debates held at its 22nd session (UNESCO, 2019), the General Assembly of States Parties to the World Heritage Convention recalled the need to respect the highest standards of integrity and transparency of working methods within the process of decision-making of the Governing bodies of the Convention.
Also emphasizing the collective responsibility of all stakeholders – States Parties, World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies – to uphold the integrity and the credibility of the World Heritage Convention and, as such, expecting all stakeholders to conduct themselves according to the highest ethical standards of professionalism, equity and transparency, the General Assembly decided in Resolution 22 GA 10 to establish an open-ended working group of States Parties to the Convention, with the mandate to develop, for consideration by the 23rd session of the General Assembly of States Parties (in 2021), a Code of Conduct, or a Statement of Ethical Principles or equivalent text.
In conformity with Resolution 22 GA 10, a first meeting of the open-ended working group of States Parties to the World Heritage Convention will be organized online on 16 February from 12.00 pm to 15.00 pm. This inception meeting will be the occasion to proceed with the election of a Bureau of the open-ended working group as well as prepare and adopt a timetable for future meetings as recommended by Resolution 22 GA 10.
As requested by the General Assembly of States Parties, in order to assist with the work of the open-ended working group, the Secretariat prepared a background Document compiling a comprehensive list of existing, binding and non-binding elements, which could be referenced in a Code of Conduct, or a Statement of Ethical Principles or equivalent text. This background Document can be found below.