A principal focus of World Heritage USA’s domestic work is advocacy in support of existing and potential U.S. World Heritage sites, which also advances the standing of the U.S. in the global World Heritage community. On May 31, 2023, World Heritage USA submitted testimony to the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations in support of funding U.S. dues for the World Heritage Committee.
Last year’s FY 2023 State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill provided robust funding for the State Department’s Contributions to International Organization’s (CIO) budget which, among other things, funds the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Heritage Committee. It also included enactment of authorities that permit the President to waive the restrictions on contributions to UNESCO established in P.L. 101-146 and P.L. 103-236.
As our testimony states, World Heritage USA supports fully funding the Administration’s FY 24 budget request for CIO. We are also enhancing our advocacy effort to specifically and urgently request the Department of State to use its FY 23 appropriation to pay this year’s World Heritage Committee dues, which we understand to be approximately $588,000, and to use its FY 24 appropriation to pay both annual dues and any arrearages that have accrued since the U.S. last paid dues in 2011.
Image: Hopewell Central Mound, mound #7, at Mound City Group under a dark grey, winter sky. NPS / Tom Engberg