Resolution : CONF 205 5-8
Opening of the session
5. In her opening address, the representative of the Director-General, Mrs Lourdes Arizpe, Assistant Director-General for Culture, spoke of the remarkable and visionary character of the Convention for the Protection of World Heritage, which was adopted exactly twenty-five years ago. The Convention is based on the by now well-accepted premises that there are natural and cultural properties of such importance that not only are they of national value, but also of universal value to all humankind. She welcomed the adhesion of new States Parties to the Convention and mentioned the most recent ones: Suriname, Papua New Guinea and South Africa.
6. She recalled that the Director-General, in view of the global nature of the Convention, had created five years ago, the World Heritage Centre to assist States Parties,. For its part, the World Heritage Centre may count upon assistance from the Science, Culture and Education Sectors, as well as on the advisory bodies to the Committee, ICCROM, ICOMOS and IUCN.
7. The representative of the Director-General referred to the decision of the World Heritage Committee for an audit after these five years which would provide the basis to study and improve the implementation of the Convention.
8. She then emphasized the importance of item 8 of the provisional agenda concerning the monitoring and reporting on the state of conservation of World Heritage sites. Furthermore, she referred to emergency situations being faced at the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi (Italy) and the fires spreading throughout Indonesia.