An International Advisory Committee (IAC) for the World Heritage properties in Uzbekistan will be launched on 15 September 2021 in Khiva, Uzbekistan in the framework of the International Cultural Forum “Central Asia at the Crossroads of World Civilizations”.
This meeting will bring together relevant authorities of Uzbekistan, staff of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, representatives of the Advisory Bodies to the World Heritage Committee, as well as prominent international and local experts to discuss actions aimed at preserving and promoting World Heritage properties in Uzbekistan.
During her official visit to Uzbekistan in August 2019, the Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Audrey Azoulay, met Mr Shavkat Mirziyoyev, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and agreed to provide technical support to Uzbekistan to establish an IAC for the World Heritage properties in Uzbekistan. Throughout the subsequent years, the representatives of Uzbekistan and the World Heritage Centre put significant efforts into preparing this IAC, including developing the terms of references, the administrative structure, and the composition of the Experts Committee.
Uzbekistan has four World Heritage cultural properties that are living historic cities: Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz, Historic Centre of Bukhara, Samarkand – Crossroad of Cultures and Itchan Kala in Khiva. The main function of IAC is to advise the authorities on the conservation of the World Heritage properties and the implementation of the World Heritage Committee's decisions and previous mission recommendations. It will also assist the Uzbek authorities in strengthening their national capacities for the conservation and management of World Heritage properties by developing advice and recommendations, identifying solutions to ensure the safeguarding of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of World Heritage properties alongside development projects and other initiatives.
The IAC would act as an independent body that would report directly to the Cabinet of Ministers of Uzbekistan. The IAC is composed of an interdisciplinary group of experts with extensive expertise in conservation, restoration, archaeology, tile-work, heritage tourism, urban planning, heritage law and other areas.
During this opening event, there will be discussions on the mission of this Committee, its expected roles, and a brief overview of the challenges faced by the World Heritage properties, to be introduced by their management organisations. The meeting will also be an excellent opportunity to introduce the experts of IAC to all the stakeholders, in view of starting collective work in the years to come.