The marking of the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention in 2012 focused debate about its merits, achievements and impacts. It is commonly said that the World Heritage Convention is UNESCO’s ‘flagship program’ and its ‘most successful’ convention. As an Advisory Body to the Convention, World Heritage is a prominent part of the identity, mission and activities of ICOMOS worldwide. This paper describes a number of pressing issues concerning the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, and some of the implications of these for ICOMOS in its role as an Advisory Body, and for its global membership.
Cultural policy can contribute to social and economic development by growing our cultural capital, promoting local identity and promoting global cultural diversity. Tangible and intangible heritage forms a crucial part of this cultural capital and needs to be safeguarded. At the International Network on Cultural Policy (INCP-RIPC) meeting in Cape Town in October 2002, member states decided to adopt and to implement national policies to protect and promote cultural heritage. South Africa and Senegal agreed to write a research report analysing the legal and financial instruments currently employed by countries and regions to safeguard their intangible heritage.