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World Heritage Convention

Decision 5 COM XI.22
Procedure for the evaluation and examination of Nominations to the World Heritage List

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 suggestion of restriction on the range and variety of properties which might be inscribed in the List. It was therefore agreed that the concept of selectivity was best expressed by reference to the requirement in the Convention that properties should be "of outstanding universal value" and to the criteria adopted by the Committee for the inscription of natural and cultural properties. The statement adopted by the Committee is as follows:

"The World Heritage List should be as representative as possible of all cultural and natural properties which meet the Convention's requirement of outstanding universal value and the cultural and natural criteria adopted by the Committee in its operational guidelines."

It should be noted that some 90 Member States of Unesco have not yet adhered to the Convention and that nominations to the List have been received from only 37 of the 61 States that have adhered. Therefore, the List cannot yet be fully representative of the heritage of the whole world.

Rapport of the rapporteur