Governing Bodies

States parties of the Convention



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The Meeting of States Parties

The Meeting of States Parties is the sovereign body of the Convention. The Meeting of States Parties gives strategic guidelines for the implementation of the Convention and takes all the measures it deems necessary to promote the objectives of the Convention.

Initially, the 1970 Convention did not create  a periodic monitoring body. Only one meeting was organized in 2003 based on a specific decision of the Executive Board of UNESCO in 2002. The State Parties requested the second Meeting of States Parties   to be held in June 2012  in which they decided to give this body a periodicity of two years to enable them to follow more closely the developments relating to the implementation of the Convention. The Meeting of States Parties has therefore met every two years since 2012.

When necessary, so-called "extraordinary" meetings may be held in the interim at the request of the States Parties and the Director-General.

The Sixth Meeting of States Parties will take place in 2021.

Rules of Procedure

The Rules of Procedure for the Meeting of States Parties were adopted at the Second Meeting of States Parties in June 2012.

Sessions of the Meetings of States Parties

The Subsidiary Committee

The Subsidiary Committee of the Meeting of States Parties to the 1970 Convention is made up of representatives from 18 States Parties (3 per regional group). The election of the Committee follows the principles of geographic representation and fair rotation. The members of the Committee are elected for a period of four years. Every two years, the Meeting of States Parties renews half of the members of the Committee. A member of the Committee cannot be elected for two consecutive terms.
The functions of the Subsidiary Committee are:

  • promoting the aims of the Convention;
  • review of national reports submitted to the General Conference by States Parties to the Convention;
  • such as preparing and submitting to the Meeting of States Parties recommendations and guidelines that can contribute to the implementation of the Convention;
  • identification of problematic situations resulting from the implementation of the Convention, including matters relating to the protection and return of cultural property;
  • establishing and maintaining coordination with the “Return-Restitution” Committee in connection with capacity-building measures to fight the illicit trafficking of cultural property;
  • inform the Meeting of States Parties of the activities that have been implemented.