Resolution : CONF 009 1-6
Opening of the General Assembly by the Director-General
- The Fifth General Assembly of States Parties to the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage met in Sofia, Bulgaria, on 4 November 1985, during the 23rd session of the General Conference.
- Sixty-eight of the eighty-seven States which were parties to the Convention as at 4 November 1985 and which thus had the right to vote, were represented at the meeting, namely : Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Benin, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic Yemen, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany (Federal Rep. of), Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Holy See, Hungary, India, Iraq, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Jordan, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Nepal, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Islamic Republic of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zaire, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
- Representatives of the following States not Parties to the Convention also participated as observers in the General Assembly: Angola, Austria, Finland, Japan, Kenya, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Netherlands, Philippines and Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. A representative of the Arab Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (AIECSO) also attended the meeting in an observer capacity.
- The list of participants to the General Assembly is given in annex I to this document.
- In accordance with the Rules of procedure of the General Assembly the Secretariat of the Assembly was assumed by the Secretariat of Unesco.
- In opening the General Assembly, the Director-General drew attention to the unprecedented undertaking inaugurated in the Convention, namely the identification of cultural and natural properties of outstanding universal value which together form the common heritage of all nations. An ever-increasing participation in the action taken to this end was evident throughout the world: the number of States Parties had increased from 76 to 87 since the last General Assembly and the number of sites included in the World Heritage List had risen from 136 to 186. The Director-General went on to describe the active role assumed by the Committee for the protection of monuments and sites at the national level and in building up the World Heritage List. The efforts of the Committee were evidently subject to the means which the international community made available to the World Heritage Fund, and the Director-General informed the Assembly of the funds allocated to the training of specialists, emergency assistance, preparatory assistance and for the safeguarding of sites included in the World Heritage List. However, the situation of the Fund gave rise to some concern, due on the one hand to the non-payment by certain States Parties of their mandatory contributions and on the other hand to the fact that voluntary contributions had not attained the expected level. In concluding, the Director-General underlined the need to make the Convention better known and he mentioned the publications which had appeared on the subject since the last General Assembly.