I note that Els wrote on the actual T list entry on her site that it had been "REferred" but used the word "deferred" above. In fact none of the normal "status words" was used in the minutes of that meeting - neither "Deferred", "Referred" nor "Withdrawn" but one or other has to be chosen! The formula re improvement of the Management Plan might have been a diplomatic fig leaf to avoid mentioning "the dispute" but it WAS what was agreed as per the following from the minutes of the WHC:-
Decision: 31 COM 8B.24
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Having examined Documents WHC-07/31.COM/8B and WHC-07/31.COM/INF.8B.1,
2. Having taken note of the following statement by the Chairperson of the World Heritage
Committee which has been agreed to by the Delegation of Cambodia and the
Delegation of Thailand:
Decisions report (Christchurch, 2007) WHC-07/31.COM/24, p. 154
"The State Party of Cambodia and the State Party of Thailand are in full agreement
that the Sacred Site of the Temple of Preah Vihear has Outstanding Universal Value
and must be inscribed on the World Heritage List as soon as possible. Accordingly,
Cambodia and Thailand agree that Cambodia will propose the site for formal
inscription on the World Heritage List at the 32nd session of the World Heritage
Committee in 2008 with the active support of Thailand.
They also agree that the site is in need of urgent attention and requires international
financial and technical assistance and close cooperation between them.
They further agree that it is essential to strengthen conservation and management at
the site including by the development of an appropriate management plan, as required
under paragraph 108 of the Operational Guidelines, that will ensure the future
protection of this property.
They understand, following consultation with the World Heritage Centre, that financial
and technical assistance for the development of a management plan will be available
through the World Heritage Centre's International Assistance programme."
3. Recognizes that the Sacred Site of the Temple of Preah Vihear is of great
international significance and has Outstanding Universal Value on the basis of criteria
(i), (ii) and (iv), agrees in principle that it should be inscribed on the World Heritage List
and notes that the process for inscription is in progress;
4. Requests the State Party of Cambodia to strengthen conservation and management at
the site by making progress in developing an appropriate management plan, which
progress will enable its formal inscription by the Committee at its 32nd session in 2008;
5. Further requests the State Party of Cambodia to submit a progress report to the World
Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2008"
It will indeed be interesting to see what happens in the next 2 weeks given the rising temperatures in Thailand and Cambodia about this matter!