How to become a member

Here is the procedure for your city to join our network and become a member of the OWHC:

1. According to the By-Laws of the Organization, to become a member of the OWHC :

a. Your city must have within its territory a site which represents a living urban ensemble or a property within an urban context inscribed on the World Heritage List whose Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) is recognized by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee and which meets at least one of the criteria (i)(ii)(iii)(iv)(v) or (vi) of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.

b. Your city must also adhere to the values of the OWHC as they appear in the OWHC Charter.

To apply, the mayor of the city must sign and send a letter of application to the Secretary General of the OWHC, by email or to the following address:

Mr. Mikhael DE THYSE
Secretary General
Organization of World Heritage Cities
Espace 400e, Suite 140
100, Quai Saint-André
Québec (QC), G1K 3Y2, Canada

E-mail: [email protected]

The letter must confirm adherence to the values of the OWHC and include a description of the World Heritage Site inscribed on the UNESCO List.

After verification of the city’s eligibility, the Secretary General will confirm membership in the Organization. The city will be considered a “member in good standing” upon payment of the annual membership fee (see formula for calculating the fee below). Members in good standing are subject to the OWHC’s By-laws and regulations and are entitled to the services and privileges described in the document below.

2. In accordance with the By-Laws of the Organization, to become an observer member* :

Your city must have a site or property inscribed on the Tentative List of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. A signed letter of application for membership must be sent by the mayor to the Secretary General of the OWHC (see name and address above). After verification of the city’s eligibility, the Secretary General will confirm the membership. The city will be considered an “observer member in good standing” according to the conditions set out in the By-Laws. An observer member does not have a right to the General Assembly but is subject to the statutes and regulations of the OWHC and may benefit from all privileges, programs and activities of the Organization intended for it (see document below).

*The observer member pays half (50%) of the fee that the city would pay if it were a full member. If the observer member has a site officially inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and wishes to continue its membership with the OWHC, it will become a full member, will pay the full amount of the membership fee and will be entitled to all services and privileges offered to members.

3. If your city cannot become a member of the OWHC, but you are interested in our activities, you can follow us on our social networks and subscribe to our newsletter.

For all other requests for collaboration, please write to [email protected]

Before sending an application to the General Secretariat, please take into account the information contained in these pages: Rights and privileges and OWHC Charter. They will indicate the services offered to the different categories of members, the information concerning the annual membership fee and the charter to which you must adhere.

Request for information

For any additional question regarding your request to join the Organization of World Heritage Cities, please contact the General Secretariat at the following address: [email protected]