The Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC) is an international non-profit, non-governmental organization of 250 cities in which sites of the UNESCO World Heritage list are located. It was founded in 1993 in Morocco, during the second International Symposium of World Heritage Cities. The headquarters of the OWHC are located in Quebec City, Canada. Altogether the 250 member cities of the OWHC have a population of more than 130 million. Any city may become a member of the OWHC if it possesses the following two characteristics. Firstly the city has to be the location of a living urban fabric of historic or contemporary interest. Its outstanding universal value has been recognized by the UNESCO and therefore has been registered in the World Heritage List. Secondly the city has to adhere to the values of the OWHC. During the founding of the OWHC in 1993 the member cities defined the goals and mission the Organization should have in the future. The OWHC aims for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention (Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage adopted by the UNESCO in 1972). It encourages cooperation and exchange of information and expertise among its member cities on both regional and international levels.
Icherisheher has become the member of OWHC since 2016. The Administration had a fruitfull cooperation with OWHC over past years. As an example of this cooperation, the Icherisheher Administration hosted 46th Meeting of the Board of Directors of the Organization in 23 and 24 October 2018. All in attendance were most impressed with the richness and beauty of the cultural heritage of Azerbaijan, including Icherisheher as well as the excellent organization of the meeting.
In May 2018, the Chairman of the Board of the Icherisheher Administration was invited to the 12th OWHC Regional Conference. The main topic of discussion was the challenges facing the World Heritage Cities, trends of cultural tourism, the protection of historical heritage and strategies to increase tourist interest in historical areas. Also, participants were informed about the work carried out in the preservation of historical heritage in Icherisheher and its future goals.