18. The Assistant Director-General for Culture and Communication offered his congratulations to those States which had been elected to the World Heritage Committee. He went on to refer to the essential role which the Convention and the Committee were playing in increasing.the awareness of people of the importance of preserving cultural and natural monuments and sites which were of value to mankind as a whole. Another important result of the work undertaken under the Convention had been the fruitful collaboration which had developed between specialists in nature conservation and those in the preservation of the cultural heritage, both at the national level and within the Secretariat itself. Mr. Makagiansar paid tribute to several of the participants in the meeting who had actively contributed to the successful work undertaken by the Committee since the Convention entered its operational phase.