The Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC) was founded on September 8, 1993 in Fez, Morocco.
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.
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
The OWHC has five official languages, French, English, Spanish, Arabic and Portuguese. The first three mentioned are the OWHC working languages.