Does anyone know the process and procedures for bidding to host the World Heritage Conference
As I understand it the situation is approximately as follows -
The last 2 items on the WHC agenda (other than the closure etc) are concerned with
a. the election of the "Bureau" for the coming year - Chairperson, Vice Chairpersons and Rapporteur. (whose "reign" starts immediately after the closure of that WHC - thus enabling them to do the necessary preparation)
b. The location for the next WHC
All those "persons" ( or rather "representatives") have of course to be from countries on the World Heritage Committee. Normally (?) only the first and last are actually named 1 year beforehand so, presumably this allows the VCPs to be changed by the states Parties more easily. The CP doesn't have to have been the representative of that country in the current year - someone "more important" is likely to be chosen!
Again, "normally", the location of the WHC is in the country of the Chairperson (certainly in recent years) - so the election of the CP pretty well determines the location of the next WHC
I missed the Webcast discussion of these items last year but suspect that it is all "sorted out" beforehand in corridors etc between several countries from among those on the WHC who have already "made it known" that they would be prepared to host the WHC (Remember - they usually/often get a "thank you" prize in the form of an inscription provided they can come up with a halfway "decent" nomination!!). So there is no unseemly public "fighting" for the "honour"!!
How far beforehand do such matters get determined? Who knows! I guess "feelers" are put out, possibly even several years before hand when WH Committee member states are being "elected", and then final "draft" decisions are reached during the WHC so that a united front can be presented at the time of the final 2 agenda items! This is very much a "diplomatic" exercise.
Maintaining rotation between Continents is obviously an issue plus the capability of the country course - both in terms of hotels/conference centre and also the ability of the Chairperson I guess. The Chairperson has to be a person of suitable seniority in that country's hierarchy (a more important issue in some countries than others!!) but sometimes that person's language skills are not enough and they soon drop out after the Opening ceremony! Last year's Russian lady stuck it out and was, I felt, a pretty good CP!
Paris always exists as a back up location whilst the rotation of chairmanship can continue. The choice of Cambodia probably followed a clear policy decision from that country to "go for" the conference market at Siem Reap - and, possibly, also to score another "victory" over Thailand by demonstrating what a "good" member of the WHC it was (or am I being too cynical!!). Similarly the previous year's original choice of Bahrain was to "celebrate" that country's activity in the Heritage front and as a showcase for Shaikha Mai the Culture minister from the ruling family of that country - unfortunately the attempted "revolution" in Bahrain put paid to the location and Shaikha Mai dropped out from doing all the hard work of "chairing" to the lady VCP from Barbados I think it was!! There are always a few sessions chaired by a VCP for reasons of "rest" of course but Shaikha Mai's total absence after the opening 2 years ago was very noticeable and it certainly wasn't for "language" reasons - perhaps she had decided that it was best for Bahrain, at the time, for members of her family to keep a low profile!