The second was to refine and adopt a series of strategic orientations to serve in future as guidelines for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention and designed to assist the various agents involved--the States Parties, the Committee, the consultative bodies and the World Heritage Centre.

At its 14th session, held in Banff, Canada, in December 1990, the World Heritage Committee decided that special celebrations should be held to mark the XXth anniversary of the adoption of the World Heritage Convention by the UNESCO General Conference.

The Secretariat was instructed to organize a number of events and activities to take place at UNESCO headquarters in Paris and elsewhere.

In order to improve future application of the Convention, the Committee took two further important decisions.

The first involved a revision of the criteria for inscription on the World Heritage List, particularly those relating to cultural properties so as to bring out their full value within the cultural landscape -- a relatively new concept.

1993 has just begun, bringing with it a multitude of new tasks and new prospects.

In a world in constant change, calls for the conservation and protection of the World heritage are never ending.I intend UNESCO, for its part, to secure more resources and means, and for this purpose I have set up, as I recently announced to the press, a World Heritage Centre whose task will be to take the World Heritage Convention to new heights, and for this it will have the autonomy necessary within the Organization." "The World Heritage List (...) is growing longer every year; but it is not enough to simply draw up Alist, however impressive it may be.We must monitor how well sites and monuments are being preserved, remind states of their obligations, help them to fulfil these by providing the necessary technical and material assistance, train skilled personnel, find funds for restoration work - in a word, be constantly active organizing available energies.Today, with 132 States Parties and 378 sites or properties designated, the Convention is the most successful international legal instrument in the world for the protection of natural and cultural sites.During these two decades an enormous amount of effective action has been taken by the States Parties, by the World Heritage Committee, its Bureau and its Secretariat, as well as by associated consultative bodies, in particular ICCROM, ICOMOS and IUCN.As we stand at the threshold of the new year, before pursuing further our joint endeavour, it is important for us to pause a moment to look back over the past months which were marked by three events of major importance to us all.