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UNESCO Decision on the Syrian World Heritage properties
11/08/2016 - عدد القراءات : 1505

The World Heritage Committee adopted the declaration on the Protection of the Syrian World Heritage during the 40th Session of the UNESCO Committee, which organised in Istanbul - Turkey from 10 to 20 July .

The General Decision on the Syrian World Heritage properties (Ancient City of Damascus, Ancient City of Aleppo, Ancient City of Bosra, Ancient villages of Northern Syria, Crac des chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din, Site of Palmyra) was as follow:

Decision: 40 COM 7A.22

The World Heritage Committee,

Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7A.Add, 

  • Takes note of the report provided by the DGAM regarding the state of conservation of the six Syrian World Heritage properties and the updated reports on the damage assessment of Palmyra, and on the fire in the Ancient City of Damascus and expresses its utmost concern at the damage occurred and the threats facing these properties and cultural heritage in general;
  • Further urges the State Party to safeguard damaged properties through minimal first aid interventions, to prevent theft, further collapse and natural degradation, and refrain from undertaking conservation and reconstruction work until the situation allows for the development of comprehensive conservation strategies and actions, in full consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;
  • Launches an appeal to all Member States of UNESCO to cooperate in the fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural heritage coming from Syria as per the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2199 of February 2015;
  • Reiterates its suggestion to the State Party to consider ratifying the Second Protocol (1999) of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Heritage during times of Armed Conflict;
  • Commends the Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums (DGAM), and all heritage professionals and local communities in Syria who are working on monitoring and protecting cultural heritage, for their sustained efforts amidst extremely difficult conditions and addresses its most sincere condolences to the families of the heritage professionals who lost their life;
  • Requests the State Party to pursue the systematic documentation of all damage incurred by the World Heritage properties whenever conditions allow and to implement all possible risk mitigation measures, to inform the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the properties from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) and the identification of corrective measures for all six properties, which should be informed by the proposed second meeting for the Emergency Safeguarding of Syria’s Cultural Heritage, and the proposed joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission and be developed in consultation with the Advisory Bodies, as soon as the security situation allows;
  • Calls upon the international community to further support the safeguarding of Syrian cultural heritage through earmarked funds;
  • Also calls upon the international and national cultural heritage professionals to unite for the safeguarding of Syria’s cultural heritage, and pursue their ongoing initiatives in coordination with UNESCO;


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