Dear Secretary of State, Dear Chantal Jouanno,Dear Senator, Dear Yves Dauge,Dear Representative of the World Heritage Centre (MechtildRössler),Dear Deputy Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, (Hubert deCanson)Dear Friends,

Today we sign this charter of commitment under the auspices of
particularly favorable.
I would like to begin by referring to the European Heritage Days, which
have just concluded yesterday. Their renewed success marks the
the preservation and enhancement of our cultural property.
2010 and Brasília is also a very good vintage for France: after
Salins-les-Bains last year, the two dossiers presented this year
by France were selected by the World Heritage Committee. The City
Episcopal Council of Albi, under the title of cultural property, and circuses, pitons and
The ramparts of Reunion Island under the title of natural goods enrich
the World Heritage List. Double classifications of this kind
are rare enough to remind us that we must show
worthy of this international recognition.
Things have changed since 1979 and the first registrations under the
UNESCO label, when Vézelay, Chartres, Mont-Saint-
Michel, the Palace and the Park of Versailles or the caves of the Vézère. The
heritage is not fixed; it evolves with the societies that carry it and the
living, it is a living memory. Today, the listing of assets
on the World Heritage List is all the more
important that it allows us to better support
this view of heritage.
Indeed, three decades later, we have a clearer picture of this
recognition by UNESCO. We are now measuring
the benefits that can be expected: a new awareness
which translates into increased tourist attractiveness, with
commitments that this implies. The inscription on the Heritage List
is a proven lever for the development of our territories. It
initiates mobilizing and innovative projects around heritage,
that give it meaning over time.
This is where the logic of the gains must not make us lose sight of
the spirit of the 1972 Convention. What is also and above all at stake is
the preservation and enhancement of international recognition, that
the “outstanding universal value” of the listed property. This is not
that a story of Ambassadors exchanging medals in
chocolate in cozy corridors. These are not just visits
and sometimes feared by local elected officials. It is above all a
requirement, placed in the context of the “responsibility principle” Hans was talking about
Jonas, and that applies to all actors in attendance. Let’s remember
that the List of World Heritage in Danger is not only for us
formally call to order: the downgrades are now, we
knowledge, a reality. Compliance with the Convention has become an issue that
fully mobilizes local authorities and the State, with exemplary
as a goal. In a word: the universal, it is earned.
What has also changed is the involvement of a greater variety
World Heritage List and the World
commitments resulting from this are no longer the sole responsibility of
heritage professionals.
The 35 French sites classified, 31 of which are cultural properties,
can be monuments, estates, historic districts or
cultural landscapes: the status of ownership and structures
for each, between public, private, associations
and public institutions. Faced with this variety of situations, the
local authorities took the initiative to create three years ago
the Association of French World Heritage Properties - that you
Chair, dear Yves Dauge. This initiative, which I would like to commend to
invites us to work for a common commitment on the part of elected officials, the
private owners and communities.
It is in this spirit that we sign the Charter
today with Chantal Jouanno: a renewed partnership
between local authorities and the State, whose respective commitments,
are clarified.
Taking into account the entire “heritage chain”, which goes
from the first inventories to forecast management, the Charter
also provides new tools to renew the
management of World Heritage List assets:
- In particular, it allows us to establish a clear procedure and
transparent for applications. This is all the more necessary
applications are coming in, and they often involve
years of preparation;
- The Charter encourages us to take greater responsibility. The
monitoring will thus be more regular and more effective, via committees of experts
to the ministers concerned, as well as the referents for each site
in the decentralized services of the State, in order to guarantee the exemplary
- The Charter also aims to ensure that assets formerly
may have management plans in place. This is a request
of the World Heritage Committee for more than ten years, which
respond to.
The Charter also proposes to be drafted according to conventions
established locally for each property. They will define a plan
bringing together all the partners involved around our
common objectives: protection, exploitation, and development logic
I think there are a lot of advantages to this idea.
- At the heart of the heritage issue is - you know this better than I do
- the delicate trade-off between development and conservation. This trade-off
now has a framework that will allow it to bring together more
the different actors involved.
- The conventions allow the fact that there is no
in terms of preservation, ready-made recipes: heritage
it’s also tailor-made.
- This new asset management system will make it possible to
better link case by case to national coherence,
which our two Ministries are responsible for.
At the intersection of local, national and international, the management of
World Heritage sites encourage us to “think globally” and “act
local» - to use the famous formula of René Dubos. It is
also carries an approach according to which the heritage is
and that is the approach I want to highlight by
that kind of commitment. Thank you.