Third cycle of Periodic Reporting in Europe and North America underway: National focal points for the World Heritage Convention meet online


Image source: World Heritage in Europe Today © UNESCO

The Third Cycle of Periodic Reporting started in Europe and North America with a two-day online event (20-21 October) that brought together the national focal points for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention in the region.

In this year of the 50th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention that UNESCO has chosen to celebrate under the theme ‘World Heritage as a source of resilience, humanity and innovation,’ Europe and North America is the last region to commence the Third Cycle of Periodic Reporting, after the Arab States, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean. It is now the turn of Europe and North America, with its 51 States Parties and 547 UNESCO World Heritage properties to actively engage in this introspective and forward-looking exercise.

Key information was shared with just over 80 representatives of States Parties from the region on the overall objectives of the Periodic Reporting exercise, key dates for the region and the innovations introduced in relation to previous cycles in the questionnaires to be completed by States Parties. The meeting also included contributions from the three Advisory Bodies to the World Heritage Committee (ICOMOS, ICCROM and IUCN) who had the opportunity to present the set of tools and resources developed jointly with UNESCO over the last few years, which States Parties can rely on during the Periodic Reporting exercise and beyond.

States Parties from Europe and North America also benefitted from the experience of those who came before them through the participation of two national focal points for the World Heritage Convention from Senegal and South Africa and the overview of the challenges encountered and lessons learned in the process that they shared. Feedback on the second cycle and in particular, the development of the Helsinki Action Plan was also shared by the focal point for the World Heritage Convention from Norway.

Given the opportunities for regional cooperation and exchange provided by the exercise, the kick-off meeting proved to be a valuable platform to reflect on the expected results of the Third Cycle, which will lead for the first time to the elaboration of a joint report and action plan for Europe and North America to be submitted to the World Heritage Committee for approval.

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