ICOMOS has special responsibility as adviser to UNESCO on cultural World Heritage sites.
The World Heritage Convention, 1972, for the protection of the world's cultural & natural heritage, recognizes sites of 'outstanding universal value', which are part of the world's heritage of mankind as a whole and deserve protection and transmission to future generations
The UNESCO World Heritage Committee is the statutory body responsible for decision-making on all matters related to the implementation of the World Heritage Convention. It meets once a year, in June, to:
- Select new properties for the World Heritage List from among those nominated by different countries
- Examine reports on the state of conservation of properties on the World Heritage List
- Allocate finances of the World Heritage Fund for properties in need of repair; for emergency action; for providing technical assistance and training; and for promotional and educational activities
World Heritage in the United States
Matters concerning World Heritage in the United States fall under the auspices of the National Park Service, Office of International Affairs, which maintains the World Heritage List of sites in the United States, nominations (by the Secretary of the Interior through the Office of International Affairs) of U.S. sites to the World Heritage List, and the "Tentative" or "Indicative" List of sites that may be nominated by the U.S. to the World Heritage List.
US/ICOMOS also works with other entities, including individuals, groups, non-profit organizations, or local and state agencies, who are considering preparing a nomination of a cultural site to the World Heritage List. Currently, US/ICOMOS is providing advice and guidance to groups interested in nomination a series of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, Annapolis, Maryland, Newport, Rhode Island, Charleston, South Carolina, and New Harmony, Indiana, among others.