The fifth session of the World Heritage Committee was held in Sydney, Australia (26-30 October 1981) at the kind invitation of the Government of Australia. The meeting was attended by the following States Members of the World Heritage Committee: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Federal Republic of Germany, Guinea, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Nepal, Pakistan, Switzerland, Tunisia and the United States of America.
Representatives of the International Centre for Conservation in Rome (ICCROM), the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), and the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) attended the meeting in an advisory capacity.
Observers from seven States Parties to the Convention not members of the Committee, namely Canada, Chile, India, Iran, Malta, Poland and Portugal also participated in the session, as well as observers from one intergovernmental organization, the Arab Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation (ALECSO) and two international non-governmental organizations, the International Council of Museums (ICOM); and the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA). The full list of participants will be found in Annex I to this report
The meeting was formally opened by the Prime Minister of Australia, The Rt. Hon. Malcolm Fraser, who welcomed delegates and observers to his country. The Prime Minister referred to the concept of a World Heritage as a profound expression of co-operation between people and a willingness to share, and stated that the World Heritage Convention was an important milestone in the modern history of man's concern, not only for his environment, but also for his cultural roots and origins. The Prime Minister also spoke of the first nominations by Australia for the World Heritage List and of the ...
In reply, the representative of the Director-General of Unesco, Mr. G. Bolla, thanked the Prime Minister for his welcome and expressed the profound gratitude of the participants for the kind invitation to hold the meeting in Sydney and for the generous hospitality of the Australian people. He also recalled the concern of Mr. Amadou Mahtar M'Bow, Director- General of Unesco, for the conservation of the cultural and the natural heritage and expressed the Director-General's appreciation for the active participation of Australia in all the activities of Unesco.
7. The Committee adopted the agenda for the session.
8. A delegate suggested that two working groups be set up in order to examine a number of questions of principle relating to the implementation of the Convention, and, in particular, the procedures for the evaluation of nominated properties and the way to strike a better balance between the cultural heritage and the natural heritage.
9. The Chairman suggested that this proposal be examined by the Bureau as soon as it was established. It was subsequently decided to set up two working groups, one to study the procedure for the ...
At its fourth session (Paris, 1-5 September 1980), the Committee elected five Vice-Chairmen including the representatives of Ghana and Yugoslavia. However, at the Third General Assembly of States Parties to the World Heritage Convention, which met in Belgrade on 7 October 1980, Ghana and Yugoslavia, whose term of office was due to expire at the end of the 21st session of the General Conference, were not candidates for re-election to the Committee and thus ceased to be members. Therefore, in accordance with Rule 12.1 of the Rules of Procedure of the Committee, these two Vice-Chairmen could ...
To avoid a repetition of this situation a number of proposals were put forward, in particular to amend the Rules of Procedure of the Committee. At the end of the debate, the Committee was of the opinion that Rule 12.1 of the Rules of Procedure should not be amended. It decided that henceforth, in the year when the General Assembly of States Parties to the Convention is held, the ordinary session of the Committee should be held as soon as possible after the meeting of this Assembly.
The Committee thereafter elected by acclamation the delegates of the following States members of the Committee as Vice-Chairmen: the Federal Republic of Germany, Brazil, Bulgaria, Guinea and Nepal. Mr Azedine Beschaouch (Tunisia) was re-elected Rapporteur by acclamation.
The Rapporteur, Mr A. Beschaouch, referred to the main points of the report on the fifth session of the Bureau of the Committee, held in Paris from 4 to 7 May 1981. In particular, he draw attention to the twenty-seven properties recommended for inclusion in the World Heritage List.
13. The Committee examined one by one the nominations of those properties which the Bureau had recommended for inclusion on the World Heritage List. In each case, the Committee took note of the comments of the representatives of ICOMOS and/or IUCN, who had made an evaluation of each property in relation to the criteria for inscription. The Committee also noted, for each case, the point of view of the Bureau as presented by the Rapporteur.
14. The Chairman informed the Committee that he had received a letter from an Australian non-governmental organization asking to address the Committee ...
In reporting on the activities undertaken during the last twelve months relating to the implementation of the Convention, the representative of the Director-General informed the Committee that a total of sixty-one States had now adhered to the Convention. There were however some regions in which only a few countries had ratified the Convention and the Secretariat assured the Committee that it would do its utmost to urge other countries to participate in this activity. Eighty-six sites, proposed by twenty-nine countries, had already been inscribed on the World Heritage List, but ...
The Committee decided to include in the World Heritage List all the properties recommended by the Bureau. Two nominations, the Fort of Lahore and Shalimar Gardens in Lahore were combined and thus the following twenty-six properties were inscribed :
Name of Property
Nomination submitted by
Kakadu National Park
NB The Committee noted that the Australian Government intended to proclaim additional areas in the Alligator River Region as part of Kakadu National Park and recommended that such areas ...
The Committee took note of the decision of the Bureau to defer twenty nominations because additional information was required. The meeting was informed that the Australian Government had withdrawn the nomination of the Sydney Opera House in its setting and that it hoped to submit a revised nomination in due course. In addition, the Rapporteur and the Secretariat informed the Committee that the Algerian Authorities intended to revise the nomination relating to the Dey's Palace at Algiers in order to extend it to cover the whole of the Casbah; this revised nomination would be submitted when ...
19. The Secretariat reported on public information activities under- taken in implementation of the decisions taken by the Committee at its fourth session. The attention of the Committee was drawn, in particular, to the problem of obtaining adequate visual material on World Heritage sites . With respect to future activities the Secretariat proposed to continue the implementation of the programme as undertaken and to focus a major part of its efforts on the establishment in each State Party of private foundations or associations for the purpose of promoting the objectives of the World ...
The Committee heard the report of the working group set up to examine the above agenda items as well as the question of protecting world heritage properties. After discussing the different recommendations formulated by the working group, the Committee adopted the following guidelines relating to these questions :
The Committee agreed that there was a need for a statement on the dual concepts of representativeness and selectivity to guide the Committee in the development of the World Heritage List. During the discussion, many delegates spoke of the need to ensure that the List was fully representative of all natural systems and cultures. Whilst it was acknowledged that the Convention itself implied selectivity and that in the short term at least there were other important reasons for limiting the overall size of the List, several delegates argued that the form of words used should not carry any ...
The Committee agreed to support the holding of meetings which could :
help to create interest in the Convention within the countries of a given region ;
create a greater awareness of the different issues related to the implementation of the Convention to promote more active involvement in its application ;
be a means of exchanging experiences ;
stimulate critical evaluation and comparative assessments prior to the submission of tentative lists and nominations ;
stimulate joint promotional activities.
The Committee agreed to make funds available for this activity from the World ...
The Committee decided to remind States Parties of the desirability of submitting tentative lists which should contain the following information :
the name of the property
the geographical location of the property
a brief description of the property
a brief justification of the outstanding universal value of the property in accordance with the criteria set out in the Operational Guidelines (including a comparative assessment of similar properties inside and outside State boundaries).
The Committee also recommended that natural properties should be grouped according to ...