UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization), with its headquarters in Paris, was founded in London in 1945 as a specialised agency of the UN (nearly 200 states). It awards the title of World Heritage Site (World Cultural Heritage and World Natural Heritage) to sites that are of world importance because of their uniqueness, authenticity and integrity and are proposed by the states in which they are located. The title is based on the World Heritage Convention ratified by 194 states. As of 2021, the UNESCO World Heritage List included 1,154 monuments in 167 countries. Of these, 869 are listed as cultural monuments and 218 as natural monuments, with a further 39 monuments listed as mixed cultural and natural heritage sites. 40 World Heritage sites are transboundary or transnational, i.e. assigned to two or more states.
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