“Who’s who” in World Heritage

A “who’s who” of the UNESCO World Heritage programme

The World Heritage Committee is the most important committee with regard 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 expert bodies.

The World Heritage Centre is the permanent administrative office of the World Heritage Committee and is organisationally integrated into the Culture Sector of the UNESCO office in Paris. The World Heritage Centre organises meetings of the General Assembly and 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 support the World Heritage Committee in its decisions on inscriptions on the World Heritage List. The respective experts assess the nominations with regard to their fulfilment of World Heritage criteria. This also includes an inspection of the site. The advisory bodies recommend that the World Heritage Committee either inscribes or does not inscribe the nominated property, or refers the nomination back for revision.

Further information can be found on the website of the German Commission for UNESCO.