The twenty-fifth session of the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee will open on Monday, 25 June for its annual six-day meeting at UNESCO Headquarters.

The seven Bureau members, Australia, Canada, Ecuador, Finland, Morocco, Thailand, and Zimbabwe will be joined by observer delegations from many other States Parties to the Convention, as well as representatives from the Advisory Bodies (ICOMOS, IUCN and ICCROM) and several other organizations.

The opening session will include an extended discussion on the loss of the Bamiyan statutes in Afghanistan earlier this year. The discussion will be led by Mr. Pierre Lafrance, former French Ambassador to Pakistan and Special Envoy of the Director General of UNESCO to Afghanistan; the representative of the Director General, Mr Mounir Bouchenaki, Assistant Director General for Culture; and the Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee, Mr. Peter King.

The Bureau will review 79 State of conservation reports on properties inscribed on the World Heritage List and on the List in Danger and will make recommendations to the Committee concerning many of them.

The Bureau will review 50 nominations of sites proposed for inscription on the World Heritage List. This year, four properties are located in Africa, two are from the Arab region, five are located in the Asia-Pacific region, three are from Latin America and the Caribbean, and thirty-five are from Europe-North America. 32 are cultural properties, 14 are natural sites, and four are mixed, exhibiting both cultural and natural values. Three of the nominations are from States Parties which have not presented nominations before: Botswana, Guyana, and Israel. Seven extensions of sites already on the list will also be discussed. The Bureau's recommendations concerning new sites will be passed for decision on to the World Heritage Committee at its next session, 11 to 16 December 2001 in Helsinki, Finland.