The World Heritage Committee is a committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization that selects the sites to be listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the World Heritage List and the List of World Heritage in Danger, defines the use of the World Heritage Fund and allocates financial assistance upon requests from States Parties.It comprises representatives from 21 state parties that are elected by the General Assembly of States Parties for a four-year term. These parties vote on decisions and proposals related to the World Heritage Convention and World Heritage List.
According to the World Heritage Convention, a committee member's term of office is six years. However many States Parties choose to voluntarily limit their term to four years, in order to give other States Parties an opportunity to serve.All members elected at the 15th General Assembly (2005) voluntarily chose to reduce their term of office from six to four years.
Deliberations of the World Heritage Committee are aided by three advisory bodies, the IUCN, ICOMOS and ICCROM.
The World Heritage Committee meets once a year for an ordinary session to discuss the management of existing World Heritage Sites, and accept nominations by countries.Extraordinary meetings can be convened at the request of two-thirds of the state members. Meetings are held within the territory of state members of the World Heritage Committee at their invitation. Rotation between regions and cultures is a consideration for selection and the location for the next session is chosen by the committee at the end of each session.
|1||1977||27 June–1 July||Paris|
|2||1978||5 September–8 September||Washington, D.C.|
|3||1979||22 October–26 October||Cairo & Luxor|
|4||1980||1 September–5 September||Paris|
|5||1981||26 October–30 October||Sydney|
|6||1982||13 December–17 December||Paris|
|7||1983||5 December–9 December||Florence|
|8||1984||29 October–2 November||Buenos Aires|
|9||1985||2 December–6 December||Paris|
|10||1986||24 November–28 November||Paris|
|11||1987||7 December–11 December||Paris|
|12||1988||5 December–9 December||Brasília|
|13||1989||11 December–15 December||Paris|
|14||1990||7 December–12 December||Banff|
|15||1991||9 December–13 December||Carthage|
|16||1992||7 December–14 December||Santa Fe|
|17||1993||6 December–11 December||Cartagena|
|18||1994||12 December–17 December||Phuket|
|19||1995||4 December–9 December||Berlin|
|20||1996||2 December–7 December||Mérida|
|21||1997||1 December–6 December||Naples|
|22||1998||30 November–5 December||Kyoto|
|23||1999||29 November–4 December||Marrakech|
|24||2000||27 November–2 December||Cairns|
|25||2001||11 December–16 December||Helsinki|
|26||2002||24 June–29 June||Budapest|
|27||2003||30 June–5 July||Paris|
|28||2004||28 June–7 July||Suzhou|
|29||2005||10 July–17 July||Durban|
|30||2006||8 July–16 July||Vilnius|
|31||2007||23 June–1 July||Christchurch|
|32||2008||2 July–10 July||Quebec City|
|33||2009||22 June–30 June||Seville|
|34||2010||25 July–3 August||Brasília|
|35||2011||19 June–29 June||Paris|
|36||2012||25 June–5 July||Saint Petersburg|
|37||2013||17 June–27 June||Phnom Penh|
|38||2014||15 June–25 June||Doha|
|39||2015||28 June–8 July||Bonn|
|40||2016||10 July–20 July||Istanbul|
|41||2017||2 July–12 July||Kraków|
|42||2018||24 June–4 July||Manama|
|43||2019||30 June–10 July||Baku|
|44||2020–21||16 July–31 July 2021|
Originally scheduled for 2020. Postponed to an extended 2021 session due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
|45||2022–23||10 September–25 September 2023|
Originally scheduled for 19 June–30 June 2022 in Kazan, Russia. Postponed to an extended 2023 session due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
At the end of each ordinary session, the committee elects a chairperson, five vice-chairpersons and a Rapporteur from those members whose term will continue through the next session.These are known as the Bureau, and their representatives are responsible for coordinating the work of the World Heritage Committee, including fixing dates, hours and the order of business meetings.
Each state member of the World Heritage Committee has one vote. Decisions require a simple majority with abstentions counted as not voting. Votes are delivered by a show of hands unless a secret ballot is requested by either the chairperson or two or more states members.
Current members of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee:
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||2021–2025|
Increasing politicization of World Heritage Committee decisions to the detriment of conservation aims has been alleged, particularly with regard to new nominations for the World Heritage List, but also with the consideration of sites for the List of World Heritage in Danger.In 2010, states parties including Hungary, Switzerland and Zimbabwe submitted an official protest against such politicization.
An external audit requested by the World Heritage Committee for its Global Strategy of the World Heritage List concluded in 2011 that political considerations were indeed influencing decisions.It observed that the composition of committee representatives had shifted from experts to diplomats in spite of World Heritage Convention Article 9 and found that opinions from advisory bodies often diverged from World Heritage Committee decisions.
In 2016, Israel recalled its UNESCO ambassador after the World Heritage Committee adopted a resolution in a secret ballot that referred to one of Jerusalem's holiest sites, the Temple Mount, only as a "Muslim holy site of worship", not mentioning that Jews and Christians venerate the site.
The committee has also been criticized with alleged racism, colorism, and geographic bias for favoring the inscription of sites in Western and industrialized countries over sites belonging to so-called "third-world" countries. A huge chunk of world heritage sites are located in Europe, Eastern Asia, and North America, where populations notably have lighter skin.
A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for having cultural, historical, scientific or other forms of significance. The sites are judged to contain "cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity".
The International Council on Monuments and Sites is a professional association that works for the conservation and protection of cultural heritage places around the world. Now headquartered in Charenton-le-Pont, France, ICOMOS was founded in 1965 in Warsaw as a result of the Venice Charter of 1964 and offers advice to UNESCO on World Heritage Sites.
The World Heritage Convention, formally the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, is an international treaty signed on 23 November 1972, which created the World Heritage Sites, with the primary goals of nature conservation and the preservation of cultural properties. The convention, a signed document of international agreement, guides the work of the World Heritage Committee. It was developed over a seven-year period (1965–1972).
The Government of Punjab, also known as the State Government of Punjab or locally as the State Government, is the supreme governing authority of the Indian state of Punjab and its 23 districts. It consists of an executive, led by the Governor of Punjab, a judiciary and a legislative branch.
The International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals and Folk Arts is an international nongovernmental organization (NGO) in Official partnership with UNESCO and is accredited to provide advisory service to the Committee of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage. CIOFF has 63 full members, 21 associate members and 18 corresponding members worldwide and 3 partner members. Its headquarters are in Confolens in France. Full members are National Sections with the aim to preserve traditional art, to organize Folklore Festivals or similar activities as well as unite voluntary organizations, working in the field of dance, music, costumes, customs and ethnography. The National Sections belong to sectors in the organization according to their geographic location.
The UNESCO 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property is an international treaty to combat the illegal trade in cultural items. It was signed on 14 November 1970 and came into effect on 24 April 1972. As of October 2022, 142 states have ratified the treaty.
The Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention are a series of instructions to signatory nations regarding the proper implementation of the 1972 Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. The guidelines were adopted by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee at its first session and amended at its second session in 1978.
The Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO), administered by the Canada Council for the Arts, is Canada's national commission for UNESCO, actively advancing the organization's mandate to contribute to peace based on the intellectual and moral solidarity of humankind by promoting cooperation among nations.
The Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage is a Category 2 Centre under the auspices of UNESCO. founded as an autonomous and independent Bahraini public institution in 2010.