Open ended intergovernmental working group on the ‘right’ scale or scope of an element

The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, at its sixth session in Bali, Indonesia in 2011, decided to convene an open ended intergovernmental working group to discuss the ‘right scale or scope of an element’ in the context of the implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (Decision 6.COM 15).

With financial support from the Government of Japan through the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund, the working group met at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris on 22 and 23 October 2012. This meeting provided an opportunity for experts identified by each State Party to begin reflecting upon this important topic.

During the first day of the meeting the discussion was structured around four themes, guided by discussion papers prepared by experts:

  1. Concepts of the ‘element’ in the drafting of the 2003 Convention and its Operational Directives;
  2. Taking stock of the elements inscribed on the Lists: actual trends, categories and examples;
  3. Possible ways to deal with ‘similar elements’: the extension of an inscribed element and the nomination of ‘serial elements’;
  4. ‘Right’ for what context? Elements of intangible cultural heritage in inventorying, listing, safeguarding and raising awareness.

General discussion took place during the second day of the meeting, allowing States Parties to reflect on the questions raised during the drafting and implementation of the Convention.

The results of the discussion were presented to the seventh session of the Committee held in December 2012.

Summary records and list of participants

List of documents