World Heritage and Nation States
September 17, 2021 4:00 PM -
The World Heritage Convention Revisited
In 1972, the World Heritage Convention was ratified by the United Nations and its Educational, Social,
and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). As we approach its 50th anniversary, we will hold a mock revision
of the convention to attend to changes and issues that are important to the preservation of global
culture, including the impact global heritage and its relation to global markets, governance, and security.
Students at UNM will coordinate with students from across the world to brainstorm key issues during
three virtual planning sessions, each with their own theme. The fourth and final session will consist of a
presentation of key recommendations from student groups represented from New Mexico and other
university and community partners. A copy of the World Heritage Convention can be found here.
Friday September 17 | 4:00pm (Mountain Standard Time) via zoom
Session 1 -- World Heritage and Nation-states
Explore the relationship between the World Heritage Convention and the problem of nationality. In
2012, 2014, and 2017 respectively, Palestine received UNESCO World Heritage Area (WHA) designations
for the Birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth, the Land of Oil and Vines, and the old Hebron City. In each of
those cases, international treaties that involve support for or against Palestine as a state intervened and
compelled supporters of UNESCO to either withdraw or limit the funding it contributed to the WHA
program. This case raises an interesting problem related to the WHA and the convention itself. Does
the convention overly emphasize the role of nationality in the construction of world heritage? Why is
this the case and what can be learned should a revision of the convention take place?
Some related readings: