Founded in 1993, the Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC) is currently composed of around 310 cities, each of them inscribed by UNESCO on the World Heritage List. The presidency of the organization is presently held by Mr. Gerald Collomb, Mayor of Lyon, France.
These towns, each of which is an example of a unique heritage value, brought together have a population of over 130 million inhabitants and are distributed on all five continents. The representatives on behalf of these cities within the OWHC are the mayors, who along with cultural heritage specialists participate in the World Congress of the OWHC, an event held every two years, the only international forum that offers an opportunity to bring them together to discuss issues of common interest.
The primary objectives of the Organization are to favor the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, to encourage co-operation and the exchange of information and expertise on matters of conservation and management as well as to develop a sense of solidarity among its member cities.