A “who’s who” of the World Heritage

The World Heritage Committee is the most important committee with regards to implementing the World Heritage Convention. It is made up of 21 State Parties and the nations represented change regularly. Once a year, the Committee decides on whether nominated sites are to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The decision is based on the recommendation made by the advisory bodies.

The World Heritage Centre is the focal point and coordinator within UNESCO for all matters related to World Heritage. The Centre organises the annual meetings of the Committee, receives nominations for inscription on the World Heritage List, coordinates monitoring of the World Heritage Sites and organises periodic reports.

ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites), IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property) are the three advisory bodies that advise the Committee in its decisions on inscriptions on the World Heritage List. The respective experts evaluate the nominations with regard to their fulfilment of World Heritage criteria. This also includes field visits. The advisory bodies recommend the World Heritage Committee either to inscribe or not to inscribe the nominated property, or to refer or to defer the nomination.