So are this lot "poodles" or their own men (and women!) - will they meekly submit to the diktat from Paris or tell UNESCO that it has got things wrong and totally out of proportion?
Australia, Egypt, Nigeria, Bahrain, Israel, Peru, Barbados, Jordan, Republic of Korea, Brazil, Kenya, Spain, Canada, Madagascar, Sweden, China, Mauritius, Tunisia, Cuba, Morocco, United States of America.
No doubt someone will tell me that these WHC members are "straight as a die" wanting only what is best for the heritage of the World - why else would they get involved in an activity which forces them to have to travel around the world on expenses.
Perhaps I am just too old and cynical and I prefer to look for wants and paybacks, old scores, power blocks and alliances of interest!
To what extent do the WHC members vote as per their personal knowledge and beliefs and to what extent on the basis of being directed by their government? Does anyone have any knowledge/experience in these matters?
You can see a number of countries there which very much want things from UNESCO - Bahrain has been given quite a lot recently and hopes to become the cultural leader in the Gulf
Barbados is a newcomer but will be wanting its first site inscribed soon
Are the 7 African countries going stand up and be counted - many of their sites are pretty badly looked after but they can always look to UNESCO for money and a softly softly approach when it comes to such matters!
On the other hand Canada has a record of standing alone on some earlier debates - was it not against the removal of the Oryx sanctuary?
One would have hoped that USA would have taken a pragmatic approach to "development" - if only to mitigate the poor view of UNESCO among its population. Not a good piece of news for its people to hear that UNESCO will attack your sovereignty by telling you to stop building bridges etc - and just when USA was trying to re-engage on WHS matters. It abstained on Oman didn't it?
I see few obvious natural allies for Germany - just 3 European members and surely Spain as Chair MUST follow the UNESCO line?
Other countries which are having similar problems at the moment regarding planned developments are France, Russia, UK and Malaysia - not a single one on the committee!
I wonder if the details of voting will reach the outside world or will the WHC close ranks in a "Cabinet decision" - we did eventually find out the Oman vote. I presume a majority vote is enough and the chair has a casting vote -or is it some other level of majority?