World Heritage Mtg., Froday, Dec. 16

Peter Stott (pstott@PEG.APC.ORG)
Tue, 20 Dec 1994 19:29:58 +1000

A daily report covering the activities of the World Heritage
Committee, meeting in Phuket, Thailand, December 12-17, 1994
Vol. III, No. 5 Friday, Dec. 16
Key items:
** Promotional Activities of the Centre
** Republic of Korea makes donation
** Report of Working Group 1 o the Budget
** Report of Working Group 2 on Proposed Revisions to Op. Guidelines



PHUKET, THAILAND. In its penultimate scheduled session, the World
Heritage Committee reconvened at 9:50.

** Promotional Activities of the Centre
The opening item on the Committee's morning agenda was the Report by the
World Heritage Centre on promotional activities, as noted in working
document CONF .003/11. The Centre's spokesperson, Ms. Breda Pavlic, called
the Committee's attention to the solid working relationship with other
UNESCO units that the Centre had been developing over the past year. Two
exhibits in particular were being prepared in cooperation with the Cultural
Sector, "From Abou Simbul to Angkor" and a photo exhibit on World Heritage
Cities, to open in Bergen in June during the second general assembly of the
Organization of World Heritage Cities. The Centre was also working on the
development of a solid database with Unesco's Department of Infomatics and
Telecommunications. This would be linked to the information provided by
ICOMOS, IUCN, ICCROM, CHIN, and other organizations, and allow the Centre
to better serve the needs of the States Parties and others. She stressed
that the Centre did not intend to duplicate the work that others were
already doing and expected to work closely with the organizations
concerned. Ms. Pavlic also touched briefly on other publications and
audiovisual products released over the past year. One innovative and
ambitious project was to introduce and integrate World Heritage knowledge
into all of Unesco and into educational systems of the States parties. The
latter project, which would be launched at Bergen at the OWHC meeting in
June, would involve high schools in 25 countries. The Centre's spokesperson
also noted that very few states parties were reporting their own World
Heritage activities back to the Centre, and she urged that the delegates
inform the Centre of promotional activities undertaken in their respective

The Chair opened the discussion with an account of Thailand's activities in
this regard. Both France and Thailand commented enthusiastically on the
Centre's proposed database. For the Centre, Ms. Pavlic reiterated that they
wished to systematize input about information available. She explained that
the Centre expected to use the information to catalyze other states
parties. They were very much counting on the help of the advisory bodies,
ICOMOS, IUCN, ICCROM, whose information systems were more advanced than the
Centre's. An IUCN spokesman, Mr. Bing Lucas, called attention to the
important role of the databases of the World Conservation Monitoring Centre
in Cambridge (UK); IUCN relied on these databases when it made its
comparative evaluations.

** Republic of Korea makes donation
After the coffee break, the Chair announced that the observer from the
Republic of Korea had a statement to make. The Korean observer, noting that
this was the first meeting in which Korea had participated since ratifying
the convention in 1988, praised the serious manner in which the Committee
treated the conservation of World Heritage properties. Although they as yet
had no sites on the World Heritage List, they had submitted a tentative
list and were preparing three nominations which they hoped would be
presented to the Committee for its approval. As a gesture of their support
for the work of the Committee, their delegation wished to make a
contribution to the Committee of $US 20,000. On behalf of the Committee,
the Chair warmly thanked the delegation for its generous offer and said
that the Committee looked forward to the participation of the delegation.

** Report of Working Group 1 on the Budget
The Chair of Working Group 1, Mr. Rob Milne, presented the recommendations
of Working Group 1. He regretted that time constraints did not allow the
group to discuss all of the items assigned to it. The Chair noted that
there had been extended discussion, in the end adopting a budget for
US$ 2,935,000 for 1995. This was broken down into the Centre's ten
categories as follows:

1 Preparatory assistance 150,000
2 Global Strategy 70,000
3 Basic Support 37,000
4 Monitoring 308,000
5 Technical Cooperation 750,000
6 Training 452,000
7 Promotion and Education 268,000
8 Attendance of Experts (LDC and DC) to
statutory World Heritage mtgs 40,000
9 Assistance to the Centre 360,000
10 Advisory services
ICOMOS 310,000
IUCN 190,000
TOTAL BUDGET 2,935,000

(This breakdown reflects minor changes to the Centre's proposed budget by
the Working Group, corrected typographical errors in the original, and an
amendment to the monitoring budget in plenary. The total budget amount
remained unchanged from that proposed by the Centre.)

Mr. Milne noted that under line item 4, the Working Group recommended an
increase to the ICOMOS (monitoring) budget of US$ 10,000. It was also
proposed to eliminate the proposed budget of the World Heritage Cities
Organization (included under line item 4) and use $50,000 to continue a
position for the natural heritage sector for one transitional year (item
9). Within line item 7, an anticipated $50,000 in legal expenses to protect
the logo had been eliminated and replaced with $55,000 for the exhibit
"From Abou Simbel to Angkor" (net increase of $5,000).

The Working Group chair noted that it was the general recommendation of the
group to continue to increase the transparency of the budget. It was very
important that the Emergency Fund be replenished, and he urged that States
Parties consider contributions to this fund. With regard to technical
assistance, the group recommended that division of funds between natural
and cultural heritage of one third to two third should be continued,
although the training budget was to be divided evenly between the two

With respect to the phrasing of the Working Group's report, there was
lengthy debate on how to refer to the proposals to strengthen the World
Heritage Centre. Although the chair had simply indicated that there were at
least two perspectives on the subject and that more study would be
required, Italy and several other delegations were insistent that their
opposition to some of the proposals be given greater weight. In particular,
Italy wished to see the text of its legal advisor on the subject
incorporated into the Working Group report, despite the fact, noted by the
group's chair, that this text had not been brought before the group at the
time. After some time, as there seemed to be no resolution of the issue,
the plenary chair, Dr. Wichiencharoen, asked for a vote. The vote was 7-11,
in favor of incorporating the Italian text into the body of the working
group report. (In favor: Brazil, Colombia, Cyprus, France, Germany, Italy,
Lebanon, Niger, Senegal, Spain. Opposed: China, Indonesia, Japan, Oman,
Philippines, Thailand, United States.)

On the observation by Niger and Senegal that the monitoring budget for
Africa had been cut, the Centre staff explained that monitoring for most of
the regions had been cut, and it was the intention that after initial
meetings held in Africa this year, monitoring should be undertaken by
States Parties themselves. The point was debated at length, well into the
afternoon session. Ultimately, however, on a proposal from Cyprus, the
budget for monitoring for Africa was restored by $10,000 by taking that
amount from the amount recently added to the exhibit budget for "From Abou
Simbel to Angkor." In closing this issue, the working group chair and
several members of the group noted that if decisions of the working group
were going to be reopened in plenary, the hard word of the working group
was put into question.

** Report of Working Group 2 on Proposed Revisions to Op. Guidelines
Ms. Olga Pizano (Colombia) and Mr. H. Caspary (Germany), the chair and
rapporteur respectively of Working Group 2, presented the report on
revisions to the operational guidelines. The revisions were based on
recommendations on the expert meeting on the "Global Strategy" and were
designed to encourage the inscription of properties that would fill gaps in
the List. The working group recommended changes in the first three cultural
criteria (Operational Guidelines, Para. 24(a) (i-iii).

Criterion i. Make changes in both the English and French texts so that the
two versions correspond with one another. In the English version this meant
replacing 'a unique artistic achievement' with 'human' to read:
'(i) represent a masterpiece of human creative genius; or'

Criterion ii. Alter the phrasing to better indicate that cultural influence
can occur in two directions. The criterion now reads:
'(ii) exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of
time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in
architecture, monumental arts or town-planning and landscape design;

Criterion iii. The expert mission and the working group felt that this
criterion should be expanded to include living cultures.
'(iii) bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural
tradition or to a civilization which is living or which had
disappeared; or'

criterion vi. Although the Working Group did not make any recommendations
for this criterion, it was discussed in plenary. Senegal suggested changing
the word 'universal' in this criterion to 'regional' so as to give greater
opportunity to properties which might be unique to specific cultures or
regions. While this proposal did not win support, the Committee did agree
to add the modifying phrase 'cultural or natural' to make it clear that
criterion vi could also be used with natural criteria, particularly in the
definition of cultural landscapes.
'(vi) be directly or tangible associated with events or living
traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary
works of outstanding universal significance (the Committee considers
that this criterion should justify inclusion in the List only in
exceptional circumstances or in conjunction with other criteria
cultural or natural;'

There were no further modifications to the criteria, although Japan, noting
the recent meeting in Nara on authenticity, asked whether section (b)(i)
might not also be changed. The Committee agreed with the Working Group's
rapporteur that this could be a lengthy discussion and should be brought
before the next meeting of the Bureau.

The Working Group also proposed, with some revisions, the text of a new
chapter II on Monitoring. Of the eight new paragraphs, we note three here
dealing with systematic monitoring:

* The States Parties are invited to submit to the World Heritage
Committee through the World Heritage Centre, every five years, a
scientific report on the state of conservation of the World Heritage
sites on their territories. To this end, the States Parties may
request expert advice from the Secretariat or the advisory bodies.
The Secretariat may also commission expert advice with the agreement
of the States Parties.

* To facilitate the work of the Committee and its Secretariat and to
achieve greater regionalization and decentralization of World
Heritage work, these reports will be examined separately by region as
determined by the Committee. The World Heritage Centre will
synthesize the national reports by regions. In doing so, full use
will be made of the available expertise of the advisory bodies and
other organizations.

* The Committee will decide for which regions state of conservation
reports should be presented to its forthcoming sessions. The States
Parties concerned will be informed at least one year in advance so as
to give them sufficient time to prepare the state of conservation

The Chapter on monitoring was adopted by the Committee.

The Committee also agreed to the proposals by the Bureau and the Working
Group to amend the timetable for the processing of nominations to be
considered by the Committee for the following year. In particular, the
deadline for receipt of nominations was pushed back three months, from 1
October to 1 July; and the Secretariat would now be responsible for acting
on them by 15 September (instead of 1 November), thus giving the States
Parties and advisory bodies more time to act.

Like Working Group 1, Working Group 2 also was unable to discuss all the
issues assigned to it, and proposed to leave three items to be discussed by
the Bureau: deadlines for technical assistance requests; role of the
advisory bodies; and rules for approval of assistance.

It being then after six o'clock, the remaining agenda items were quickly
dispensed with. Item 16 concerned a recommendation by the Bureau for a
change in the Committee election procedures. The Bureau proposed that from
the fourth ballot on, a simple majority of votes would be sufficient, and
not the absolute majority which had hitherto been the case. Agreed.

It was agreed that the next meeting of the Bureau would be at UNESCO
headquarters in Paris. The Committee took note of the announcement by the
Italian delegate of the previously scheduled UNIDROIT conference on
cultural property in Rome 5-23 June, and agreed to a meeting of the Bureau
from 26 June to 1 July 1995.

The final agenda item was the time and place of the next (19th) session of
the Committee. On behalf of the Federal Government of Germany, the German
delegation reported that it would be pleased to host the nineteenth session
in Berlin from 4-9 December 1995. The meeting would be preceded by a
meeting of the Bureau, 1-2 December. With the warm applause and thanks of
the delegates and all present, the Chair thanked Germany for its offer.

There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned until 4 pm
Saturday, when the Committee would reconvene for a final time to review and
approve the Draft Report of the Committee.

W o r l d H e r i t a g e C o m m i t t e e
------ XVIII Annual Session, Phuket, Thailand, December 12-17, 1994 ------
This distribution is made possible through grants from the Samuel H. Kress
Foundation; the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training;
the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy; and Tufts University's School of
Arts and Sciences. It has been organized with the support of the Inter-
national Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and its Canadian and U.S.
national committees, ICOMOS Canada and US/ICOMOS. It has had the technical
support of the Pegasus Networks (Australia) and the Institute for Global
Communications (U.S.).
The reports are those of an observer of the meetings and do not represent
official publications of ICOMOS, the World Heritage Centre, or any dele-
Inquiries to the editor, Peter Stott
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