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World Heritage Committee

The committee consists of 21 states parties. They are elected for a period of six years. Each general assembly replaces one-third of them, with seven seats becoming available each two-year period.

The committee meets once a year to discuss all matters related to the implementation of the convention; it decides on the inscription of new properties on the World Heritage List, establishes the World Heritage Fund budget for the following calendar year, examines requests for international assistance, and defines policy matters. The committee also elects the members of its bureau: the chairperson, rapporteur and five vice-chairpersons. At its first session, the committee adopted its rules of procedure, subsequently amended at its second, third and 20th sessions.

Under the revised schedule of meetings adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 24th session in December, 2000, the committee's annual meeting is held in June.

1. The bureau of the World Heritage Committee

The bureau of the World Heritage Committee (the chairperson, the rapporteur and vice-chairpersons) usually meets in Paris. Under the revised schedule of meetings adopted by the committee, it meets once a year, in April, to prepare the following session of the committee. The bureau of the committee co-ordinates the work of the committee and fixes the dates, hours and order of business of meetings.

2. The chairperson of the World Heritage Committee

The chairperson chairs the sessions of the committee and the bureau and represents the committee for a period of one year. Mr. Zhang Xinsheng from China became the chairperson in October, 2003.

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