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The World Heritage Committee establishes the sites to be listed as UNESCOmarker World Heritage Sites. It is responsible for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, defines the use of the World Heritage Fund and allocates financial assistance upon requests from States Parties. It is composed of 21 state parties which are elected by the General Assembly of States Parties for a four-year term.

According to the World Heritage Convention, a committee member's term of office is for six years, however many states parties choose voluntarily to be Members of the Committee for only four years, in order to give other states parties an opportunity to be on the committee. For instance, all members elected at the 15th General Assembly (2005) have voluntarily decided to reduce their period of term of office from six to four years.

World Heritage Committee Session

The World Heritage Committee meets many times a year to discuss the management of existing World Heritage Sites, and accept the nominations from countries. A session, known as the World Heritage Committee Session, takes place annually where sites are inscribed on the World Heritage List, after presentations made by the IUCN and/or ICOMOS, and deliberations made among the state parties.they meet once a year.

The annual session takes place in cities all over the world. With the exception of those held in Parismarker, where the UNESCO headquarter office is located, only state parties who are members of the World Heritage Committee have the right to host a future Session, pending approval by the Committee, as well as provided that the concerned State Party’s term will not expire before it hosts the Session.

Session Year Date Host city State party
1 1977 27 June1 July Parismarker
2 1978 5 September8 September Washington, D.C.marker
3 1979 22 October26 October Cairomarker & Luxormarker
4 1980 1 September5 September Parismarker
5 1981 26 October30 October Sydneymarker
6 1982 13 December17 December Parismarker
7 1983 5 December9 December Florencemarker
8 1984 29 October2 November Buenos Airesmarker
9 1985 2 December6 December Parismarker
10 1986 24 November28 November Parismarker
11 1987 7 December11 December Parismarker
12 1988 5 December9 December Brasiliamarker
13 1989 11 December15 December Parismarker
14 1990 7 December12 December Banffmarker
15 1991 9 December13 December Carthagemarker
16 1992 7 December14 December Santa Femarker
17 1993 6 December11 December Cartagenamarker
18 1994 12 December17 December Phuket
19 1995 4 December9 December Berlinmarker
20 1996 2 December7 December Méridamarker
21 1997 1 December6 December Naplesmarker
22 1998 30 November5 December Kyoto
23 1999 29 November4 December Marrakeshmarker
24 2000 27 November2 December Cairnsmarker
25 2001 11 December16 December Helsinkimarker
26 2002 24 June29 June Budapestmarker
27 2003 30 June5 July Parismarker
28 2004 28 June7 July Suzhoumarker
29 2005 10 July17 July Durbanmarker
30 2006 8 July16 July Vilniusmarker
31 2007 23 June1 July Christchurchmarker
32 2008 2 July-10 July Quebec Citymarker
33 2009 22 June-30 June Sevillamarker
34 2010 Brasiliamarker


  1. According to the UNESCO World Heritage website, states parties are countries that signed and ratified The World Heritage Convention. As of November 2007, there are a total of 185 state parties.

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