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United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
5 September 2008





Item 10 of the provisional agenda

JERUSALEM AND THE IMPLEMENTATION OF 34 C/RESOLUTION 47
AND 179 EX/DECISION 9



SUMMARY

    This document is presented pursuant to 34 C/Resolution 47 and 179 EX/Decision 9, by which the Director-General was invited to report on the progress made concerning UNESCO’s contribution to the preservation of the cultural heritage of the Old City of Jerusalem, including the Action Plan for the safeguarding of this heritage.

    An addendum will be issued before the 180th session of the Executive Board in order to inform the Members of the Board on recent developments related to this issue. This addendum will also contain a draft decision.

    The Report by the Director-General on the implementation of 34 C/Resolution 47 and 179 EX/Decisions 9 and 52 related to the Ascent to the Mughrabi Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem is presented within document 180 EX/5.

I. ACTION PLAN FOR THE SAFEGUARDING OF THE CULTURAL HERITAGE OF THE OLD CITY OF JERUSALEM

1. Thanks to the contribution of the Italian Government, the remaining activities foreseen within the first phase of the Action Plan will soon be implemented. These activities are the following:

2. The preliminary studies for the restoration project of the Saint John Prodromos church, close to the Holy Sepulchre, financed by the A. G. Leventis Foundation (Republic of Cyprus), will be initiated before the end of the year. During a World Heritage Centre technical mission in May 2008, an agreement was found with the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem on the implementation modalities of the project.

3. At its 32nd session (2-10 July 2008) held in Quebec City, the World Heritage Committee adopted by consensus and without debate Decision 32 COM 7A.18 (annexed to the present document). The decision reasserts the importance of the Action Plan for the safeguarding of the cultural heritage of the Old City of Jerusalem and calls upon international donors to strengthen their support in favour of its implementation.

II. OTHER PROJECTS

4. The pending issue of the release of the equipment for the Islamic manuscripts conservation centre in al-Ashrafīya Madrasa, within the Haram ash-Sharîf, was finally solved thanks to the cooperation of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Jordanian authorities which accepted to bear the cost of the storage fees at the port of Ashdod in order to release the equipment. The latter was delivered to the Haram ash-Sharîf and work is expected to start shortly.

5. The first phase of the development of an Architectural Heritage Preservation Institute, in partnership with the Welfare Association and thanks to funding from the European Commission to the value of €700,000, has been completed, notably in terms of the administrative setting and the development of the curriculum and training materials for the Institute.

6. The launching of the project for the "Safeguarding, Refurbishment and Revitalization of the Islamic Museum of al-Haram ash-Sharîf and its Collection" in Jerusalem is awaiting the official approval of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

7. An addendum to the present document will be issued before the 180th session of the Executive Board in order to inform the Members of the Board on any recent development related to this issue. This addendum will also contain a draft decision.


180 EX/10
Annex
ANNEX


DECISION OF THE WORLD HERITAGE COMMITTEE AT ITS 32ND SESSION
(QUEBEC CITY, 2-10 JULY 2008)



The World Heritage Committee,
I

1. Having examined Document WHC-08/32.COM/7A. Add 2,

2. Recalling Decision 31 COM 7A.18, adopted at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007),

3. 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,

4. Affirming that nothing in the present decision, which aims at the safeguarding of the cultural heritage of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls, shall in any way affect the relevant United Nations resolutions and decisions, in particular the relevant Security Council resolutions on the legal status of Jerusalem,

5. Welcomes the Action Plan for the Safeguarding of the Cultural Heritage of the Old City of Jerusalem developed in the context of the Director-General's comprehensive initiative for the safeguarding of the cultural heritage of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls and strongly supports its implementation in coordination and consultation with the concerned parties;

6. Thanks international donors for their generous contributions to the Action Plan and calls upon the international donor community to further support, through extra-budgetary funding, activities aimed at the safeguarding of the cultural heritage of the Old City of Jerusalem, in particular in the context of the Action Plan;

7. Asks the World Heritage Centre to make technical expertise and assistance available for the future conservation works foreseen in the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls, taking into consideration the activities foreseen in the context of the Action Plan, as needed;

8. Takes note of the concerns expressed about the archaeological excavations undertaken in the Old City Of Jerusalem, and asks the Israeli authorities to provide the World Heritage Centre with all relevant and detailed information about them;

9. Urges Israeli authorities to prevent any actions that could undermine the authenticity and integrity of the cultural heritage of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls;

10. Requests the World Heritage Centre to report on the state of conservation of the property and on the progress in the implementation of the Action Plan for the Safeguarding of the Cultural Heritage of the Old City of Jerusalem at its 33rd session in 2009;
II

1. Recalling Decision 31 COM 7A.18 adopted at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007), 176 EX/Special Plenary Meeting/Decision, adopted by the Executive Board of UNESCO at its 176th session, and Decision 179 EX/9 adopted by the Executive Board of UNESCO at its 179th session (April 2008),

2. Affirming that the design of the Mughrabi ascent should maintain the authenticity and integrity of the site, and 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,

3. 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,

4. Requests the Israeli authorities to continue the cooperation engaged with all concerned parties, in particular with Jordanian and Waqf experts;

5. Asks the World Heritage Centre to 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;

6. Being aware that the process for the design of the Mughrabi ascent, which allows the taking into consideration of the proposals submitted during the professional encounter, is still under way, requests the World Heritage Centre to follow closely, in the context of the Reinforced monitoring mechanism, the developments associated with this process;

7. Thanks the World Heritage Centre for facilitating the holding of the professional encounter at the technical level of 13 January 2008, as well as the follow-up meeting of 24 February 2008, between Israeli, Jordanian and Waqf experts, as requested by Decision 31 COM 7A.18;

8. Takes note of the proposals for the design of the Mughrabi ascent, as evaluated by the Advisory Bodies, and asks that the proposed final design be provided to the World Heritage Centre;

9. Welcomes the regular information provided by the Israeli National Commission to UNESCO on the ongoing activities related to the Mughrabi ascent, and urges the Israeli authorities to limit those archaeological activities to consolidation and stabilization works;

10. Decides to continue with the Reinforced monitoring mechanism for the state of conservation of the Mughrabi ascent, and requests a report from the World Heritage Centre at least every three months, until the 33rd session of the World Heritage Committee in 2009;
III

1. Decides to retain the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls on the List of World Heritage in Danger.