Question of Palestine home
United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
21 March 2011
of the provisional agenda
REPORT BY THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL ON THE FOLLOW-UP
TO DECISIONS AND RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED
BY THE EXECUTIVE BOARD AND THE GENERAL CONFERENCE
AT THEIR PREVIOUS SESSIONS
The purpose of this document is to inform the Members of the Executive
Board of the progress achieved in the follow-up to the decisions and
resolutions adopted by the Board and the General Conference at their
The financial and administrative implications of the planned activities fall
within the parameters of document 35 C/5
Implementation of 35 C/Resolution 49 and 185 EX/Decision 5 relating to the Ascent to the Mughrabi Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem
(Follow-up to 185 EX/Decision 5)
45. As a follow-up to 176 EX/Special Plenary Meeting/Decision and to the decisions of the World Heritage Committee since its 31st session in 2007, which requested the World Heritage Centre to facilitate the exchanges between Israeli, Jordanian and Waqf experts to discuss the detailed proposals for the design of the Mughrabi ascent, two professional meetings took place in Jerusalem on 13 January and 24 February 2008 between Israeli and Jordanian (including Waqf) experts. The third meeting, scheduled for 12 November 2008, was postponed at the request of the Jordanian authorities “until a date when it can get its own experts and equipment on the site in order to take the appropriate measurements, necessary to finalize the design of the project”.
46. The Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism, requested by the Executive Board at its 176th session (176 EX/Special Plenary Meeting Decision) and by the World Heritage Committee at its 31st session in 2007, is being applied to the Old City of Jerusalem with regard to the Mughrabi ascent. Nine reports have been prepared by the World Heritage Centre in this respect to date and forwarded to the concerned parties and the States Parties members of the World Heritage Committee.
47. At its 34th session (25 July-3 August 2010, Brasilia, Brazil), the World Heritage Committee adopted Decision 34 COM 7A.20 reiterating its decision 33 COM 7A.18 adopted at its previous session, including its request for “the process for the design of the Mughrabi Ascent [to] be inclusive of all parties concerned and for the Israeli authorities [to] continue the cooperation commenced with all concerned parties, in particular with Jordanian and Waqf experts”. The decision also called “on the Director-General to organize a follow-up meeting of experts as soon as possible, once the parties concerned have reached an agreement” and “to continue applying the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism for the state of conservation of the Mughrabi Ascent”.
48. Following the 34th session of the World Heritage Committee, a draft decision (185 EX/PX/DR.1) on the subject of the Ascent to the Mughrabi Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem was submitted by 20 Member States at the 185th session of the Executive Board. Despite considerable effort, no consensus could be reached and 185 EX/Decision 5 was adopted by rollcall vote. This decision notably “calls upon Israel to enable the necessary access to the site to the Jordanian and Waqf experts, most notably, in order to take the necessary measurements for the concept design proposed by Jordan, as evaluated by ICOMOS and ICCROM; and enable Jordan as a concerned party to present its final design for the restoration and preservation of the Mughrabi Ascent”.
49. As a follow-up to the above decision, the World Heritage Centre addressed written requests to the concerned parties in order to receive an update on this issue. The Jordanian authorities provided such an update, by letter dated 6 January 2011. This report presents information on Jordan’s efforts to enable its experts to complete a design of the Mughrabi Gate Pathway. The experts visited the site for four hours on 23 May 2010, then, on 8 August 2010 and 28 November.
2010. They noticed fallen stones from the Northern Ottoman wall of the Ascent but were not authorized to carry out the emergency stabilization works thereon. The report from the Jordanian authorities makes references to The Hague 1954 and the 1972 Conventions, to the status quo and to the decisions of the Executive Board and of the World Heritage Committee thereon. It reiterates the intention by the Jordanian authorities to “submit and implement a design for the Mughrabi Gate Pathway to the World Heritage Centre, which maintains the integrity, authenticity and cultural heritage”.
50. No other information was received by the World Heritage Centre as regards the ongoing planning and design process.
51. Depending on the developments of the situation related to this issue, the Director-General is prepared to issue an addendum to the present document before the 186th session of the Executive Board.