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[Extracted from UNESCO doc. "Decisions Adopted by the Executive Board at its 190th session" dated 18 Nov. 2012]

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Source: United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
18 November 2012







DECISIONS ADOPTED
BY THE EXECUTIVE BOARD AT ITS 190th SESSION


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5Report 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 (190 EX/5 Part I and Add., Part II, Part III and Add.-Add.2, Part IV and Add.; 190 EX/INF.4; 190 EX/INF.13 and Add.; 190 EX/INF.24; 190 EX/54 Part II Rev.; 190 EX/55)

Programme issues

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II

Implementation of 36 C/Resolution 43 and 187 EX/Decision 5
relating to the Ascent to the Mughrabi Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem

The Executive Board decided, upon the recommendation1 of the Programme and External Relations Commission, that the debate on this item be adjourned to its 191st session, and that the draft decision contained in document 190 EX/PX/DR.10 be annexed to the present decision.


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1After a roll-call vote of 28 votes in favour, 23 votes against and 4 abstentions,
the following States having voted for the adjournment of the debate: Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Grenada, Haiti, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Malawi, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Slovakia, Spain, Syrian Arab Republic, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Uzbekistan and Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of).
the following States having voted against: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Congo, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, Ecuador, France, Gambia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Mali, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Zimbabwe.
Abstentions: Angola, Gabon, Thailand and Viet Nam.
Absent: Barbados, Ethiopia and Papua New Guinea.



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ANNEX



PROGRAMME AND EXTERNAL RELATIONS COMMISSION (PX)


Item 5
    Implementation of 36 C/Resolution 43 and 187 EX/Decision 5 relating to the
    Ascent to the Mughrabi Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem (follow-up to 189 EX/Decision 5 (II))

The Executive Board,

1. Having examined document 190 EX/5 Part I.C,

2. Recalling previous UNESCO decisions related to the Ascent to the Mughrabi Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem; particularly decision 189 EX/5. II and decision 36 COM 7A.23.II of the World Heritage Committee (St. Petersburg 2012),

3. Also recalling the relevant provisions on the protection of cultural heritage including in the four Geneva Conventions (1949), the relevant provisions of the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict of 1954, the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage of 1972, the inscription of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls at the request of Jordan on the World Heritage List (1981) and on the List of World Heritage in Danger (1982), and the recommendations, resolutions and decisions of UNESCO,

4. Noting the Sixth Reinforced, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Monitoring Reports and their addendums prepared by the World Heritage Centre,

5. Recognizes the concerns raised, in this regard, about the decision by “the Jerusalem District Planning and Construction Commission” on the town planning scheme for the Mughrabi Ascent, and the subsequent decision by Israel’s “National Council for Planning and Construction” to adopt “an alternative plan for the Mughrabi Ascent”, approved on 31 October 2010 by the above-mentioned Commission;

6. Requests that, despite the decisions mentioned in paragraph 5, the process for the design of the Mughrabi Ascent be inclusive of all parties concerned, in accordance with obligations and duties of such parties as stipulated in the content of previous World Heritage Committee decisions;

7. Reaffirms in this regard that no measures, unilateral or otherwise, shall be taken which will affect the authenticity, integrity and cultural heritage of the site, in accordance with the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage of 1972 and the relevant provisions on the protection of cultural heritage of the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict of 1954;

8. Acknowledges receipt of the Jordanian design for the restoration and preservation of the Mughrabi Ascent, submitted to the World Heritage Center on 27 May 2011, and thanks Jordan for its cooperation in accordance with the relevant provisions of UNESCO Conventions for the Protection of Cultural Heritage;

9. Affirms, in this regard, that the UNESCO process for the follow-up of the design of the Mughrabi Ascent which aims at finding an accepted and monitored solution concerning the Mughrabi Ascent among all parties concerned; be coordinated with all such parties, in accordance with the spirit and content of previous World Heritage Committee decisions and recognizes the concerns raised regarding Israel’s submission and content of its plan for the Mughrabi Ascent, referred to in Paragraph 5, and requests that the World Heritage Centre be proactive and follow closely, in the context of the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism, the developments associated with this process and evaluation of the design received in accordance with paragraph (8) above;

10. Notes with satisfaction the access provided by Israel to the Mughrabi Ascent for Jordanian and Waqf experts on 23 May, 8 August and 28 November 2010, and reiterates its request that Israel resumes the cooperation commenced with concerned parties, in particular with Jordanian and Waqf experts to enable agreement on and implementation of a final design for the restoration and preservation of the Mughrabi Ascent among all parties concerned;

11. Also notes in this regard, reports of preliminary discussions reached by Jordan and Israel respectively regarding the Mughrabi Ascent which stipulate, inter alia, that no measures, unilateral or otherwise, shall be taken on the site in accordance with paragraph (7) above, and the necessity of an accepted design and implementation thereof among all parties concerned; and reiterates in this regard, the need for the parties concerned to cooperate on all related aspects of this issue and further regrets Israel’s refusal to implement World Heritage Committee consensus decision 36 COM 7A.23.II;

12. Expresses its concern regarding the continuation of intrusive Israeli archaeological excavations and works in the Ascent to the Mughrabi Gate since 22 May 2012 which included the demolition of Islamic walls and a room without ascertaining their historical value despite decision 36 COM 7A.23.II, and requests Israeli authorities to stop such excavations and works in conformity with the decision and the relevant UNESCO Conventions for the protection of cultural heritage;

13. Regrets continued Israeli denial of Jordanian and Waqf experts the necessary access with their basic tools and material to safeguard the Ascent to the Mughrabi Gate of Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in the Old City of Jerusalem, and calls upon Israel to cooperate and facilitate the access of Waqf experts to maintain the Ascent;

14. Expresses its concern regarding Israeli authorities’ permittance of provocative religious-extremist groups and uniformed forces into Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound through the Mughrabi Gate, and regrets the systematic violations of the sanctity of the compound and the continued interruption of the freedom of worship therein;

15. Affirms in this regard, the necessity to protect and safeguard the authenticity, integrity and cultural heritage of Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound;

16. Expresses thanks to the Director-General for her attention to the sensitive situation in the Ascent to the Mughrabi Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem and calls on the Director-General to facilitate confidence building measures through dispatching the necessary expertise to assess possible damages incurred through the conduct of recent Israeli works on the site since 22 May 2012;

17. Invites the Director-General to submit to it a progress report thereon at its 191st session.

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