AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
Who participates in the World Heritage mechanism?
Depending on their national procedures, States may ratify, accept or accede to the 'Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage'.' These countries (called "States Parties") thus become full participants in the Convention's mechanisms. Adopted by Unesco's General Conference in November 1972, the Convention entered into force in 1975, once a "critical mass' of States Parties, set at twenty, had joined. The United States of America was the first to do so, on 7 December 1973. It was followed in rapid succession by nineteen others from all latitudes (Egypt, Iraq, Bulgaria, Sudan, Algeria, Australia, Zaire, Nigeria, Niger, Islamic Republic of Iran, Tunisia, Jordan, Yugoslavia, Ecuador, France, Ghana, Syrian Arab Republic, Cyprus, and Switzerland).
As of 1 June 1988 there were 102 States Parties from all the world's regions. Of Unesco's total membership, only fifty-six States are yet to become Parties to the Convention, making it not only Unesco's most broadly accepted international instrument but also the world's most ratified agreement on conservation. So, just as its framers intended, the day is not far off when the Convention will extend its protection to "the world heritage of mankind as a whole'.
The States Parties meet in General Assembly once every two years to elect twenty -one of their number to the World Heritage Committee. Each State's term of office is six years, but one-third of the membership changes every two years. The first Committee was elected in November 1976. It held its first session in June 1977, at which principles and methods of work were agreed. By the following year, with the inscription of the first twelve sites, the Convention became operational.
The Committee's current members are Algeria, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cuba, France, Greece, India, Italy, Lebanon, Malawi, Mexico, Norway, Pakistan, …