The Operational Guidelines for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention were initially drafted in 1978 to inform States Parties to the World Heritage Convention of the principles which guide the work of the 21 member intergovernmental World Heritage Committee. The Guidelines provide advice concerning the establishment of the World Heritage List and the List of World Heritage in Danger and the granting of international assistance under the World Heritage Fund. The Operational Guidelines also provide details on monitoring and other questions, mainly of a procedural nature, which relate to the implementation of the Convention. The Operational Guidelines have been revised many times over the last twenty years and are generally considered as requiring substantial editing and reorganization.

At its twenty-third session (July 1999) the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee welcomed the invitation by the Observer from the United Kingdom to host an international expert meeting in early 2000 to consolidate proposals to revise and reorganize the Operational Guidelines in early 2000.

AIM: to propose an overall revision of the Operational Guidelines.

(1) to identify and define the target audiences for the Operational Guidelines,
(2) to review previous proposals for revisions to the Operational Guidelines,
(3) to identity gaps, duplications and inconsistencies in the Operational Guidelines,
(4) on the basis of (1) to (3) above, to recommend a new structure, content and format for the Operational Guidelines,
(5) to make recommendations an the future presentation of the Operational Guidelines to make them more user-friendly,
(6) to suggest any necessary additional work(along with a timetable and allocation of responsibilities); and
(7) to prepare a report containing specific recommendations for consideration by the twenty-fourth session of the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 2000.

Final Report of the Expert Meeting