Opening of the session
After welcoming the representatives of States members of the Committee, the Director-General underlined the importance of the meeting for the pursuit of one of the fundamental objectives of the Organization - the promotion of the preservation and presentation of the cultural and natural heritage of mankind. He stressed the innovative character of the World Heritage Convention under which the Committee was established: for the first time, an international convention was concerned with both the cultural and the natural elements of the environment of man and, again for the first time, the international community as a whole was called upon to assume responsibility for protecting the cultural and natural heritage of outstanding universal value. He expressed the hope that action taken by the Committee would not induce States Parties to neglect that part of their heritage that would not be included in the World Heritage List. The Director-General also recalled the different tasks before the Committee, referring in particular to the establishment of the World Heritage List and the List of World Heritage in Danger and to the provision of international co-operation under the World Heritage Fund. Before concluding, he thanked the Rome Centre, ICOMOS and IUCN for their valuable assistance in preparing the documentation for the meeting and expressed his conviction that the same spirit of co-operation with these three organizations would continue to prevail.