1. With decision 26 COM 23.23, the World Heritage Committee recalled its earlier decisions 26 COM 21 (b) 24 and 26 COM 23.3 to inscribe Tipasa (Algeria) and the Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Afghanistan) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
2. Agenda item 23 was concluded by the announcement by Mr M. Petzet, President of ICOMOS, that Mr Henry Cleere was retiring as ICOMOS Co-ordinator for World Heritage. On behalf of the World Heritage Committee and all States Parties to the Convention, the Chairperson thanked Mr Henry Cleere for his commitment to the Convention.
3. The Chairperson also thanked the Deputy Chairperson from China for having elegantly replaced him during the debate on the Hungarian nominations.
Document: WHC-02/CONF.202/21 1. The Chairperson invited the Committee to take note of the accounts for 2000-2001 (decision 26 COM 24.1). He then invited the Committee to consider the proposed budget adjustments for the World Heritage Fund for the biennium 2002-2003. He gave the floor to the Director of the World Heritage Centre who presented to the Committee the proposed budget adjustments totalling an increase of US$ 607,745 to be covered by new voluntary contributions, notably from Greece for an approximate amount of US$ 100,000, and a decrease of the Contingency Reserve of US$ 500,000.
2. The Delegate of Thailand requested whether in the light of this Committee session's decision to replace the next Spring Bureau meeting with an extraordinary session of the Committee,7 there would be a budget increase for the participation of experts to statutory meetings, Chapter I.1.
3. The Director of the World Heritage Centre informed the Committee that this had been already anticipated as an extra cost in the adjusted budget and therefore no additional adjustment was necessary.
4. The Delegates of Thailand, India and United Kingdom questioned the annual rhythm of expenditure linked to a biennial budget and concluded that the budget should be spent on a biennial basis without allocation to any particular year of the biennium under consideration.
5. The Director of the World Heritage Centre concurred and informed the Committee that the matter would be further studied.
6. The Delegate of Finland and later the Observer of Canada questioned the uniform amount allocated to each Advisory Body whereas there were more cultural than natural or mixed sites to be evaluated.
7. ICOMOS supported this idea and further mentioned that the fees in the past had been larger and should be reinstated to their former level.
8. The Director of the World Heritage Centre responded that the fees budgeted not only concerned the remuneration for evaluating sites but also other services. Notwithstanding, the Director proposed that under chapter II.3 of the budget a new budget line for "Additional services ICOMOS/IUCN" for an amount of US$ 20,000 be created in order to address additional workload. ICOMOS and IUCN agreed that this new budget line be linked to the workload and allocated on the basis of a detailed workplan.
9. The Delegate of India requested whether under chapter IV.2 "Support to State Parties for submission of periodic reports" the amount allocated included the cost of regional meetings.
10. The Deputy Director of the World Heritage Centre informed the Committee that the cost of such meetings was provided under International assistance recorded under chapter III of the budget.
11. The Delegate of Saint Lucia requested explanations as to the reduction of the original amount provided for the Global Strategy (chapter II.1 of the budget) for the Caribbean when it was common knowledge that the region was under-represented on the World Heritage List.
12. The Committee agreed that the original amount for the biennium should be reinstated for the Caribbean.
13. The Delegate of Thailand enquired why the amount allocated to Preparatory Assistance under chapter III.1 was increased for 2003 when nominations for 2003 were likely to be fewer than previously.
14. The Director of the World Heritage Centre responded that this budget line covered anticipated assistance for sites not only to be proposed for the year under review but also for future years and that new states parties or states parties not yet represented on the list were encouraged to propose requests for preparatory assistance.
15. The Delegate of Saint Lucia questioned whether the cost of the thematic study concerning vineyards had been budgeted under Chapter II.3.
16. The Director of the World Heritage Centre indicated that the study was financed under the appropriate budget line.
17. The Delegate of South Africa asked whether the amount foreseen under Chapter IV.3 increased by US$ 10,000 covered the regional meetings related to the follow-up of periodic monitoring.
18. The Director of the World Heritage Centre replied that these amounts represented seed money for extra-budgetary funding towards these activities. The Deputy Director confirmed that this budget covered consultancy fees.
19. The Delegate of India questioned the nature of the thematic studies foreseen under chapter II.2 of the budget. 20. The Deputy-Director explained that the Advisory Bodies had the list of such studies. 21. The Delegate of Saint Lucia asked how the themes of the studies were chosen. 22. The Deputy-Director explained that they were chosen after consultations between the Advisory Bodies and the World Heritage Centre. 23. The Delegate of Mexico underlined the necessity to bring to conclusion thematic studies under way as they influenced the tentative lists. 24. IUCN and ICOMOS confirmed that priority was being given to regions under represented, following the global strategy objectives. 25. The Delegate of Greece recalled the Committee's decision not to undertake new thematic studies before the conclusion of the analyses of the World Heritage List and the tentative lists (Helsinki, 2001, paragraph IX.4).
26. The Delegate of Thailand suggested that US$28,000 from the amounts foreseen under chapter I.3 for the follow-up and dissemination of the operational guidelines/legal analysis be transferred to chapter budget lines II.3 "Advisory Bodies" or II.2 "Thematic Studies" to compensate their respective increases.
27. The Director of the World Heritage Centre pointed out that an allocation of US$150,000 was proposed for Afghanistan from the Emergency Reserve Fund to finance activities to support national efforts for rehabilitating Afghan cultural and natural heritage. He then proposed to allocate an amount of US$ 150,000 from the 2003 Emergency Reserve Fund in favour of the protection of the cultural heritage of the Palestinian Territories to support actions envisaged therein: firstly the definition of a detailed plan of action for the implementation of the foreseen activities, and the establishment of an inventory of the cultural and natural heritage of potential outstanding universal value with the Palestinian Territories; the assessment of its state of conservation and the identification of measures for its preservation and rehabilitation; as well as the training and capacity-building of Palestinian specialists in the field of preservation and safeguarding of cultural and natural heritage and heritage information management. Selected conservation measures could also be included into the Plan of Action.
28. In conclusion, the Chairperson declared the adjustments to the World Heritage Fund budget for 2002-2003 adopted as amended by the Committee (decision 26 COM 24.2). He noted the Committee’s agreement to decrease in consequence the Contingency Reserve Fund (decision 26 COM 24.3).
29. At the conclusion of the discussion on this agenda item, the Director of the World Heritage Centre informed the Committee that the Centre's Administrative Officer, Mrs Josette Erfan would soon be retiring from UNESCO. In so doing he paid tribute to her valuable contribution to the work of the Centre.