Third cycle of Periodic Reporting in Europe and North America underway: National focal points for the World Heritage Convention meet online
The Third Cycle of Periodic Reporting started in Europe and North America with a two-day online event (20-21 October) that brought together the national focal points for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention in the region.
In this year of the 50th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention that UNESCO has chosen to celebrate under the theme ‘World Heritage as a source of resilience, humanity and innovation,’ Europe and North America is the last region to commence the Third Cycle of Periodic Reporting, after the Arab States, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean. It is now the turn of Europe and North America, with its 51 States Parties and 547 UNESCO World Heritage properties to actively engage in this introspective and forward-looking exercise.
Key information was shared with just over 80 representatives of States Parties from the region on the overall objectives of the Periodic Reporting exercise, key dates for the region and the innovations introduced in relation to previous cycles in the questionnaires to be completed by States Parties. The meeting also included contributions from the three Advisory Bodies to the World Heritage Committee (ICOMOS, ICCROM and IUCN) who had the opportunity to present the set of tools and resources developed jointly with UNESCO over the last few years, which States Parties can rely on during the Periodic Reporting exercise and beyond.
States Parties from Europe and North America also benefitted from the experience of those who came before them through the participation of two national focal points for the World Heritage Convention from Senegal and South Africa and the overview of the challenges encountered and lessons learned in the process that they shared. Feedback on the second cycle and in particular, the development of the Helsinki Action Plan was also shared by the focal point for the World Heritage Convention from Norway.
Given the opportunities for regional cooperation and exchange provided by the exercise, the kick-off meeting proved to be a valuable platform to reflect on the expected results of the Third Cycle, which will lead for the first time to the elaboration of a joint report and action plan for Europe and North America to be submitted to the World Heritage Committee for approval.
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC/23/45.COM/10E,
- Recalling Decisions 41 COM 10A, 41 COM 11, 42 COM 10A, 43 COM 10A.1, 43 COM 10B, 43 COM 11A and 44 COM 10D adopted at its 41st (Krakow, 2017), 42nd (Manama, 2018), 43rd (Baku, 2019) and extended 44th (Fuzhou/Online, 2021) sessions respectively, as well as the provisions of Paragraph 204 of the Operational Guidelines,
- Notes with appreciation the successful start of the Third Cycle of Periodic Reporting in the Europe and North America region and commends the preparations undertaken by the Secretariat prior to the exercise;
- Noting that the Third Cycle of Periodic Reporting is following a holistic and a State Party-driven approach, invites States Parties to financially support activities in the framework of the Third Cycle of Periodic Reporting in the Europe and North America region;
- Thanks the Government of Sweden for the funds provided to ensure that the Secretariat is able to maintain a holistic approach throughout the Third Cycle, and calls upon States Parties to continue providing sustainable funding towards the global coordination of the Periodic Reporting exercise and its follow-up;
- Takes note of the outcomes of the MONDIACULT 2022 Declaration and the opportunity provided by the UNESCO Global Report on Cultural Policies to analyse the relevant input from States Parties to UNESCO’s cultural policy monitoring efforts, requests the Secretariat to use the Reflection Period to proceed with a feasibility study to consider the practical modalities of enhancing the Periodic Reporting of the Convention in this framework, including, inter alia, the possibility of moving from a regional approach to Periodic Reporting to a global approach, examining the implementation of the Convention at global level through a succinct analytical report prepared by the Secretariat, and reviewing the analytical framework for Periodic Reporting and its monitoring indicators;
- Calls upon States Parties to provide to the World Heritage Centre, through earmarked contributions to the World Heritage Fund, other voluntary contributions and/or seconded personnel, the necessary financial and human resources to proceed with the requested feasibility study;
- Requests the World Heritage Centre to submit a report on the overall implementation of the Third Cycle of Periodic Reporting at its 46th session.