17 C WORLD HERITAGE PARTNERSHIPS INITIATIVE (WHPI)
1. The Secretariat presented the proposed World Heritage Partnerships Initiative (WHPI) giving a brief overview of the previous discussions on this issue, both by the World Heritage Committee at its 25th session and by the Bureau at its 26th session. Furthermore, attention was drawn to the preliminary work already undertaken, notably in preparing a preliminary inventory of World Heritage partnerships and regulatory framework for the Initiative, in view of providing the Committee with as much information as possible.
2. Several delegates took the floor to commend the Secretariat for the work achieved and support the proposed Initiative that should be aimed at implementing the Strategic Objectives. The Delegates of Argentina, India, Saint Lucia, Thailand, and Zimbabwe agreed that the WHPI is an effective international co-operation tool to strengthen long-term conservation of both natural and cultural heritage. The Delegate of Zimbabwe and others also recommended to use the periodic reporting exercise for identifying needs in the countries where WHPI can have added value.
3. The Delegate of Nigeria drew particular attention to the need to recognize the support provided to projects by a growing number of countries through Funds-in-Trust programmes. He specifically mentioned the support provided by the Government of Japan, as did the Delegate of India. The Observer of Japan expressed his disappointment with the documents in which the Japanese contribution to the development of the implementation of the World Heritage Convention through the Japanese Funds-in-Trust was not mentioned.
4. Whilst supportive of the WHPI, a number of Delegates (Argentina, India, Saint Lucia, Thailand, United Kingdom and Zimbabwe), called attention to the need to develop specific standards and guidelines for the selection of World Heritage partners, and to the need to ensure closer coordination between the Secretariat and States Parties concerned in identifying new partners and resources. The Delegate of the United Kingdom also noted that partnerships should serve the approved strategic objectives. Moreover, the Delegates of India, Nigeria and Zimbabwe also referred to the need to promote actively south – south co-operation as well as regional networks, and to seek partners interested in a wide range of action areas.
5. It was also considered important to refine the roles, procedures and regulations for developing and implementing partnerships. The Observer of Canada recalled the need to also refer to existing Guidelines developed specifically for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, notably the Guidelines and Principles governing the use of the World Heritage emblem (Annex 3 of the Operational Guidelines).
6. Delegates agreed that the WHPI should serve to generate additional technical and financial resources, as well as to create networks promoting exchange of knowledge and expertise. As a general rule, financial assistance provided to World Heritage through the WHPI should be channeled through the World Heritage Fund. Several delegates referred also to the need to recover overhead costs for the administrative management of projects entirely in favour of the World Heritage Fund.
7. Concerning the evaluation and reporting schedule of the WHPI, the Delegates of India, Saint Lucia, Thailand, and the United Kingdom supported the proposed timeframe, noting that the WHPI should be tested on an experimental basis up to the end of 2005 rather than the timeframe set out in the working document.
8. In responding to issues raised by the Committee, the Director of the Centre assured that all recommendations would be taken into consideration. In particular, he referred to the nature of the WHPI, specifying that it would be developed as a means of generating additional funding for the Committee's priority action areas and as means of reinforcing management capacities to help achieve long-term conservation of sites. He thanked the Committee for their words of support and confirmed that efforts would be made to ensure the success of the WHPI, notably in developing performance indicators and evaluation mechanisms as requested.
9. Following this debate, the Chairperson asked the Rapporteur and the Secretariat to submit a draft decision in written form, for discussion by the Committee as soon as possible during the present session. He also proposed to maintain the initial timetable for the examination of agenda items 21 (State of conservation) and 23 (New nominations).
10. A draft decision was circulated and examined on Saturday, 29 June. The Chairperson asked the Committee whether there were any proposals for amendments.
11. The Delegate of Thailand suggested to refer to the oversight "authority" instead of the "oversight responsibility".
12. The Delegate of the United Kingdom supported this proposal and suggested that the regulatory framework for the initiative be added to the Committee’s guidelines for the use of the emblem.
13. The Delegate of Saint Lucia requested to add in the decision that the initiative be implemented on an experimental basis.
14. The Chairperson then declared the decision adopted as amended (decision 26 COM 17.3).
15. During the adoption of the report (item 29) it was agreed that the first paragraph of the decision should make reference to the Committee welcoming the World Heritage Partnerships Initiative as a means to achieve, "on an experimental basis", a new systematic approach to partnerships.
17 D REVISED BUDGET STRUCTURE
Document: WHC-02/CONF.202/13DRev 1. Due to time constraints (see also the debate relating to item 26 and the workload during the Committee sessions), the Committee decided to defer the discussion of this agenda item until its extraordinary session in March 2003 (decision 26 COM 17.4).