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[Extracted from UNESCO doc. "FOLLOW-UP TO DECISIONS AND RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED BY THE EXECUTIVE BOARD AND THE GENERAL CONFERENCE AT THEIR PREVIOUS SESSIONS, PART I, PROGRAMME ISSUES dated 3 March 2014]

La Rampe des Maghrébins (Jérusalem) - Suivi des décisions adoptées précédemment - La 194e session du Conseil exécutif de l'UNESCO Français
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Source: United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
3 March 2014





Item 5 of the provisional agenda

FOLLOW-UP TO DECISIONS AND RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED BY
THE EXECUTIVE BOARD AND THE GENERAL CONFERENCE
AT THEIR PREVIOUS SESSIONS

PART I

PROGRAMME ISSUES


SUMMARY

This report is intended to inform the Members of the Executive Board of the progress achieved in the follow-up to the decisions and resolutions adopted by the Executive Board and the General Conference at their previous sessions.

It contains information on the following programme issues:

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C. Implementation of 37 C/Resolution 44 and 192 EX/Decision 5 (I, D) relating to the Ascent to the Mughrabi Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem

D. Follow-up of the UNESCO reactive monitoring mission to the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls and the UNESCO experts meeting on the Mughrabi Ascent

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C. Implementation of 37 C/Resolution 44 and 192 EX/Decision 5 (I, D) relating to the Ascent to the Mughrabi Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem

1. Pursuant to 176 EX/Special Plenary Meeting/Decision and to the decisions of the World Heritage Committee since its 31st session in 2007, the World Heritage Centre has spared no efforts to facilitate exchanges between Israeli, Palestinian, Jordanian and Waqf experts regarding the design of the Mughrabi Ascent in the Old City of Jerusalem.

2. This item was inscribed on the agenda of the Executive Board at all subsequent sessions and is also presented annually to the World Heritage Committee in the context of the state of conservation of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls.

3. 191 EX/Decision 5 (I), adopted by consensus, acknowledged the commitment of the parties concerned to implement the consensus decision 34 COM 7A.20 of the World Heritage Committee, by sending a joint WHC/ICCROM/ICOMOS technical, reactive monitoring mission to the Old City of Jerusalem, as well as their agreement to participate in a meeting of experts on the Mughrabi Ascent to be held at UNESCO.

4. The meeting, for which the Jordanian and Palestinian authorities had designated their experts, was due to take place in the World Heritage Centre on 27 May 2013. However, failing to reach an agreement on the details of the above-mentioned mission, the Israeli authorities considered the meeting to be premature.

5. The Committee, at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013), adopted decision 37 COM 7A.26, following a roll-call vote, deploring the fact that the mission had not taken place. Part II of the decision concerning the Mughrabi Ascent “reaffirms that no measures, unilateral or otherwise, shall be taken which will affect the authenticity, integrity and the distinctive character of the site”.

6. By 192 EX/Decision 5 (I, D), the Executive Board deplored the fact that neither the reactive monitoring mission to the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls, nor the meeting of experts on the Mughrabi Ascent, had taken place despite the relevant Executive Board and World Heritage Committee (WHC) decisions. The decision also urged Israel to honour its commitments to implement the aforementioned decisions and called on the Director-General to “facilitate the meeting of experts as well as confidence-building measures by dispatching the necessary expertise to assess possible damage incurred through the conduct of recent Israeli works on the site”.

7. At the same session, the Executive Board also adopted by vote 192 EX/Decision 42 by which it regretted the unilateral Israeli cancellation of the joint reactive monitoring mission to the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls and urged Israel to respect the terms of the above-mentioned agreement by accepting and facilitating the joint reactive monitoring mission to the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls, and by participating in the UNESCO experts meeting on the Mughrabi Ascent.

8. The Permanent Delegations of Palestine and Jordan, as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of Jordan, sent letters and notes verbales in May 2013, July 2013 and November 2013, informing the Secretariat about recent work conducted by the Israeli authorities that “affect the authenticity, integrity and cultural heritage of the site”. In this correspondence, UNESCO was requested to remind the Israeli authorities of their obligations and the UNESCO Director-General was called upon to facilitate “the dispatching of the necessary expertise to assess possible damages incurred”.

9. The Secretariat has requested information from the Permanent Delegation of Israel in this respect. At the time of the preparation of the present document, no response has been received.


D. Follow-up of the UNESCO reactive monitoring mission to the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls and the UNESCO experts meeting on the Mughrabi Ascent

1. This item was inscribed on the agenda of the 192nd session of the Executive Board at the request of the Arab Group.

2. By 192 EX/Decision 42, the Executive Board recalled the agreement reached by consensus at its 191st session whereby the concerned parties declared their commitment to implement the following: the dispatch of joint WHC/ICCROM/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls, in conformity with the consensus Decision 34 COM 7A.20 adopted by the World Heritage Committee; and, their participation in the experts meeting on the Mughrabi Ascent to be held at UNESCO in May 2013.

3. By the same decision, the Executive Board “Regrets the unilateral Israeli cancelation of the joint reactive monitoring mission to the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls” (…) “as well as the absence of Israeli representatives at the UNESCO experts meeting on the Mughrabi Ascent”. It also urged “Israel to respect the terms of the above-mentioned agreement by accepting and facilitating the joint reactive monitoring mission to the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls and by participating in the UNESCO experts meeting on the Mughrabi Ascent”.

4. The Director-General has several times reiterated the urgent need to implement the decisions of the Executive Board and of the World Heritage Committee related to this matter.

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