Organization of World Heritage Cities – our mission

As an international non-profit non-governmental organization, the Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC) was created to assist member cities adapt and improve their management methods in relation to the specific requirements of having a site inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.


General By-Laws and principal objectives

In accordance with its General By-Laws, the OWHC has the following goals:

  • contribute to the implementation of the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage and the International Charter for the Protection of Historic Cities;
  • encourage, on both regional and international levels, cooperation and the exchange of information and expertise among historic cities throughout the world in close collaboration with other organizations pursuing similar goals while promoting action likely to support the efforts of cities located in developing countries;
  • in cooperation with specialized organizations, ensure better links between research undertaken by specialists or experts and the needs of local management;
  • sensitize the populations to heritage values and their protection

These objectives demonstrate, in particular, the need to have in place an organization such as the OWHC to not only oversee the development of member heritage cities, but also to actively contribute to the visibility of all World Heritage.


Official languages of the OWHC

In order to adequately demonstrate the international aspect of the Organization as well as the great diversity of its heritage cities, the OWHC operates in five official languages: French, English, Spanish, Arabic and Portuguese, the first three having the status of working languages.