Participation in the 40th Session of the World Heritage Committee

The Istanbul Congress Center, the venue of the session
Plenary session of the Committee

 The 40th session of the World Heritage Committee was held in Istanbul, Turkey, from July 10th, 2016. Two staff members of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo (NRICPT) participated in the Committee.
It was the third review of “The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier,” which includes the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, as one of components of the property, since the first review was conducted in 2009. As the Advisory Body (ICOMOS) recommended that it be inscribed on the World Heritage List, expectations grew among parties concerned when the review the following day became almost certain to be held in the evening of July 15th. Owing to the repercussions of an attempted coup by the military that occurred on the night of the 15th to the early morning of the 16th, however, the session on the 16th was canceled and it was decided on the 17th that the property be inscribed on the List. To reduce the time for discussion, the Committee Members were not allowed to comment on the sites which were recommend by the Advisory Bodies to be inscribed on the World Heritage List; thus, it was unfortunate that we were unable to hear their opinions about the Architectural Work of Le Corbusier.
 From this time, regarding the nominated properties for inscription on the World Heritage List, the States Parties concerned are notified of the interim evaluation made by the World Heritage Panel. On the basis of this evaluation, they can modify their nomination files for the final evaluation. There are different responses by the States Parties. While some withdrew their files, others revised them significantly to prepare for the evaluation. There were cases in which the Advisory Bodies’ negative recommendation was overturned by the Committee and it was decided that the property be inscribed on the List. Given such cases, discussions should be continued on how recommendation and evaluations are made by the Advisory Bodies.
 Note that although the session of the committee was scheduled to last until July 20th, it was abruptly adjourned on the 17th because of the coup. The session will be resumed at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris from October 24th to 26th, 2016, where agenda items are due to be discussed, such as minor boundary modifications of the properties already inscribed on the World Heritage List, including “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range,” and a revision to the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention.

to page top