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  1. The Eighth General Assembly of States Parties to the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage met in Paris, on 2 November 1991, during the twenty-sixth session of the General Conference.
  2. Eighty-one out of the hundred and seventeen States which were Parties to the Convention as at 31 October 1991 and which had the right to vote were represented at the meeting. A State having just ratified the Convention was also present.
  3. Representatives of ten States not Parties to the Convention participated in the General Assembly as observers. Representatives of an intergovernmental organization and of three non-governmental organizations also attended the meeting in an observer capacity.
  4. The List of Participants to the General Assembly is given in Annex I of this document.
  5. In accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly, the Secretariat of the Assembly was ensured by the Secretariat of Unesco.
  6. In his opening speech, the Assistant Director-General for Culture, representing the Director-General, drew attention to the progress achieved in the implementation of the World Heritage Convention. He informed the Assembly that since the last General Assembly the number of States Parties had increased from 111 to 117 and the number of cultural and natural sites inscribed on the World Heritage List had risen from 315 to 337 spread over the territory of 73 States Parties. He added that the assistance provided to States Parties under the World Heritage Fund for the preservation of their properties inscribed on the List was the most concrete expression of the system of solidarity created through the Convention. Since the creation of the World Heritage Fund, technical co-operation has been financed for an amount of 9,484,505 dollars of the United States of America, of which 3,743,916 dollars have been allocated for the training of specialists. In this respect, he recalled that the assistance provided was dependent on the contributions made by States Parties. He underlined the particularly high number of contributions due for the period 1990-1991 and appealed to the States Parties to guarantee the regular payment of contributions that will enable the development of international assistance to States Parties. He also drew the attention of States Parties to the events which will commemorate the celebration in 1992 of the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the World Heritage Convention.