United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
20 October 2008
of the 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
REPORT BY THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF
34 C/RESOLUTION 47
179 EX/DECISIONS 9
RELATED TO THE ASCENT TO THE MUGHRABI GATE
IN THE OLD CITY OF JERUSALEM
This document is an addendum to document 180 EX/5 aiming at informing the Members of the Board of recent developments concerning the works taking place at the ascent to the Mughrabi Gate leading to the al-Haram ash-Shar
f in the Old City of Jerusalem and at proposing a draft decision in this respect.
Decision proposed: paragraph 4.
1. The Israel National Commission for UNESCO forwarded to the World Heritage Centre, in a letter dated 31 August 2008, a document comprising the decision taken by the Jerusalem District Planning and Construction Commission on the town planning scheme for the Mughrabi ascent. This document also contains the 14 objections presented to the Commission at a public hearing on 20 May 2008 and the minutes of the discussions held during these public hearings. The Jerusalem District Planning and Construction Commission “decided to approve the plan for validity”, subject to a series of stipulations.
2. It is to be noted that as of 31 August 2008, one of the objectors has requested, and been granted permission, to appeal to the National Council for Planning and Construction. The discussion of this appeal is not envisaged before the month of November 2008 and the approved plan will therefore not be gazetted until after the results of this appeal. The Israeli authorities indicated also in their correspondence that in the meantime, no further works were being carried out on the site.
3. As per the request of the World Heritage Committee at its 32nd session in Quebec City (Decision 32 COM 7A.18 annexed to document
), the World Heritage Centre has prepared a fifth Reinforced Monitoring Report which was sent to the States Parties Members of the World Heritage Committee on 26 September 2008.
4. The Executive Board may wish to adopt the following draft decision:
The Executive Board,
1. Having examined document 180 EX/5 Add.3 Rev.,
2. Recalling 176 EX/Special Plenary Meeting/
Decision, 177 EX/Decision 20
179 EX/Decisions 9
3. Further recalling Decisions 31 COM 7A.18 and 32 COM 7A.18 adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 31st (Christchurch, 2007) and 32nd (Quebec City, 2008) sessions respectively,
4. Also recalling the relevant provisions on the protection of cultural heritage including, as appropriate, the four Geneva Conventions (1949), 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,
5. Reaffirming the purpose and spirit of the professional encounter at the technical level of 13 January 2008, as well as the follow-up meeting of 24 February 2008,
6. Being aware that the process for the design of the Mughrabi ascent, which allows for the taking into consideration of the proposals submitted during the professional encounter, is still under way, and that the World Heritage Centre is following closely the developments associated with this process through its Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism,
7. Being aware of the deep concerns regarding the decision taken by the Jerusalem District Planning and Construction Commission on the town planning scheme for the Mughrabi ascent,
8. Requests that, despite this decision, the process for the design of the Mughrabi ascent be inclusive of all concerned parties, in accordance with the spirit and content of previous World Heritage Committee decisions;
9. Reaffirms that no measures, unilateral or otherwise, should be taken which will affect the authenticity and integrity of the site, in accordance with the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage of 1972;
10. Reiterates the request made by the World Heritage Committee at its 32nd session in Decision 32 COM 7A.18 that the Israeli authorities continue the cooperation engaged with all concerned parties, in particular with Jordanian and Waqf experts;
11. Reiterates the request made by the World Heritage Committee at its 32nd session in Decision 32 COM 7A.18 that the World Heritage Centre organize a technical follow-up meeting at the site with all concerned parties for additional exchanges of information to enable all necessary inputs to be considered;
12. Notes with satisfaction that the follow-up meeting requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 32nd session in Decision 32 COM 7A.18 is tentatively scheduled for early November 2008;
13. Expresses its thanks to the Director-General for the action he has taken to facilitate the dialogue and professional exchanges between all the concerned parties;
14. Invites the Director-General to submit to it a progress report thereon at its 181st session.