The majority of African countries that could benefit by becoming States Parties to the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property are not States Parties. Since the Convention came into force on 24 April 1972, there have been only twenty African States Parties. Similarly, the majority of African States were absent from the full diplomatic Conference which, in Rome, adopted the text of the UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects. in June 1995. Thirteen African countries sent representatives and one sent an observer. The Convention entered into force on 1 July 1998 between China, Ecuador, Lithuania, Paraguay and Romania. Seven other nations including Italy have joined the Convention. Not a single African country is a State Party, although Burkina Faso, C6te d'lvoire, Guinea, Senegal and Zambia are signatories to the Convention.