ICCROM is involved in a number of aspects for implementing the World Heritage Convention.
1- Attendance at sessions of the World Heritage Committee
The regular session of the World Heritage Committee is the largest annual gathering for the conservation community, bringing together over 1,500 participants from States Parties, government institutions and NGOs. This event allows ICCROM to address all of its Member States.
ICCROM collaborates with the World Heritage Centre and other Advisory Bodies to prepare the documents for the Committee, and attends these sessions in an advisory capacity. During these sessions, ICCROM reports on its activities, gives a progress report on capacity building within the Convention and advises on the State of Conservation of cultural properties on the World Heritage List. Information on individual sessions of the World Heritage Committee, including Committee documents and reports can be found here.
ICCROM also organizes an Orientation Session for Committee members prior to the start of each session, as well as the Advisory Body space at Committee sessions, used for information and capacity building sessions for Committee members and other meeting participants.
2- State of Conservation Reporting and Reactive Monitoring Missions
State of Conservation reports provide the only available snapshot of the current state of conservation of heritage sites across the globe. ICCROM shares in the preparation of these reports with ICOMOS and the World Heritage Centre, thereby consolidating opinion on difficult conservation and management issues faced by some properties.
When requested by the World Heritage Committee, ICCROM participates in joint Reactive Monitoring and Advisory Missions to World Heritage properties, usually two to three times per year. These missions are meant to assess the state of conservation of particular sites. They allow the Advisory Bodies to see the situation “on the ground” and meet with stakeholders involved in safeguarding of the property. Following these missions, reports are issued to allow the World Heritage Committee to make recommendations to the State Party for improving the conservation and management of the properties.
For more information on State of Conservation process as a whole or for information on individual properties, including useful statistics, see here
3- Periodic Reporting:
The Periodic Reporting process helps States Parties assess their own implementation of the World Heritage Convention. ICCROM participates in regional and sub-regional meetings, where information in the reports is analysed and synthesized to give a better understanding of capacity building needs. Consolidating these reports highlights the issues faced in each of UNESCO’s five regions.
Periodic Reports are done on a six-year cycle. For more information on the process, see here
4- Evaluation of International Assistance Requests
The World Heritage Convention was created in part to provide technical and financial assistance to States Parties, in order to better protect properties of Outstanding Universal Value.
States Parties may receive international assistance under the Convention to help them protect world cultural or natural heritage on their territories and inscribed on the World Heritage List, the List of World Heritage in Danger or on their Tentative List. ICCROM provides written evaluations of all such requests, and also participates in two International Assistance panel meetings per year to coordinate a consensus viewpoint on requests from the Advisory Bodies and the World Heritage Centre. This consensus opinion is then passed on to the decision-maker (either the Chairperson the World Heritage Committee or the Committee itself) for a final decision.
5- Evaluation of Nominations
ICOMOS is the Advisory Body tasked with evaluating nominations to the World Heritage List. Starting in 2015, ICOMOS has invited ICCROM on an experimental basis to attend meetings of its World Heritage panel in a non-voting capacity. In this way, ICCROM contributes to the debate on properties being considered for inscription. As with Periodic Reporting, ICCROM uses its participation in these meetings to better understand capacity building needs, in this case those specifically related to the nomination process.
6- Participation in Expert Meetings
In its role as an Advisory Body to the World Heritage Convention, ICCROM participates in expert meetings to further understanding of key concepts related to the World Heritage Convention and the field of conservation in general. Topics in the past have included the International World Heritage Expert Meeting on Integrity for Cultural Heritage, International World Heritage Expert Meeting on Visual Integrity, International World Heritage Expert Meeting on Criterion (vi), and Science and Technology – an Expert Workshop in the Framework of the Global Strategy for a Balanced and Representative World Heritage List.