World Heritage Convention

The World Heritage Convention, formally the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, is an international treaty signed on 23 November 1972, which created the World Heritage Sites, with the primary goals of nature conservation and the preservation of cultural properties. The convention, a signed document of international agreement, guides the work of the World Heritage Committee. It was developed over a seven-year period (1965–1972).

Convention concerning the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage
Plaque - Definition of cultural heritage
Signed16–23 November 1972
LocationParis, France
Effective17 December 1975
Condition20 ratifications
Ratifiers194 (190 UN member states plus the Cook Islands, the Holy See, Niue, and Palestine)
DepositaryDirector-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
LanguagesArabic, Chinese, English, French, Hebrew, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish[1]

The convention defines which sites which can be considered for inscription on the World Heritage List, sets out the duties of each country's governments to identify potential sites and to protect and preserve them. Signatory countries pledge to conserve the World Heritage sites situated on their territory, and report regularly on the state of their conservation. The convention also sets out how the World Heritage Fund is to be used and managed.[2]

It was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972, and signed by the President of General Conference of UNESCO, Toru Haguiwara, and the Director-General of UNESCO, René Maheu, on 23 November 1972. It is held in the archives of UNESCO.[2]

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