8.COM 6.A

The Committee,

  1. Having examined Documents ITH/13/8.COM/6.a, IOS/EVS/PI/129 and ITH/13/8.COM/INF.5.c,
  2. Recalling Articles 7, 29 and 30 of the Convention concerning reports by the States Parties, and Chapter V of the Operational Directives,
  3. Thanks the States Parties that submitted periodic reports for the 2013 reporting cycle and invites the States Parties that have not yet submitted the expected reports to duly submit them at the earliest opportunity;
  4. Decides to submit to the General Assembly the ‘Overview and summary of the 2013 reports of States Parties on the implementation of the Convention and on the current status of all elements inscribed on the Representative List’, as annexed to this decision;
  5. Requests the Secretariat to inform States Parties concerned at least twelve months prior to the respective deadline for submission of periodic reports, and encourages States Parties concerned to respect the statutory deadlines in submitting their periodic reports, particularly those that are more than one year late;
  6. Congratulates the States Parties that give prominence to the role of intangible cultural heritage in fostering sustainable development and that are re-orienting their policy-making in order to integrate it into development planning and strategy at the national and local level, thereby recognizing the cross-cutting character of intangible cultural heritage and the need for cross-sectoral cooperation within Government and of collaboration between different stakeholders;
  7. Welcomes the importance given to the physical environment and cultural spaces, as well as to handicrafts and other products associated with intangible cultural heritage to its continued viability, transmission and enactment, and further acknowledges the linkages and possible synergies between UNESCO’s culture conventions of 1972, 2003 and 2005;
  8. Further welcomes the wide diversity of formal and non-formal education measures and training programmes in place in reporting States within both the national and local institutions, as well as the communities and groups that transmit and perform intangible cultural heritage;
  9. Takes note of the different means of disseminating information on and promoting intangible cultural heritage, particularly through an increasing use of the Internet and new technologies such as web portals that are established to raise awareness and visibility of intangible cultural heritage;
  10. Invites States Parties to adopt specific measures to respond to the specific threats facing the intangible cultural heritage present in their territories and to address both threats and responses more explicitly in their reports;
  11. Recalls the importance of gender and generational roles and responsibilities in the practice, safeguarding and transmission of intangible cultural heritage and invites States Parties to give them greater prominence in the submitted reports;
  12. Further recalls that tourism could play an important role in improving the living standards of the communities that bear and practise intangible cultural elements and might enhance the local economy, while cautioning States Parties about the need to manage it in a ‘sustainable way’ (paragraph 117 of the Operational Directives) in order ‘not to put at risk the intangible cultural heritage concerned’ (paragraph 102);
  13. Encourages States Parties to involve more actively the communities, groups and, where appropriate, individuals in the preparation of their periodic reports, as provided in paragraphs 157 and 160 of the Operational Directives, particularly while reporting on elements inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;
  14. Invites States Parties to explicitly address in their reports the role of NGOs and civil society in the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage;
  15. Further decides to:
    1. Revise periodic reporting forms to include specific questions on policy, legislation and gender and to ensure that the reports focus on results and activities (IOS Recommendation 21) in such a manner as to alleviate the burden of States Parties concerned and the Secretariat;
    2. Encourage States Parties to complement the data gathered on the implementation of the Convention through Periodic Reports submitted by States Parties including information provided by relevant NGOs (IOS Recommendation 23);
  16. Requests the Secretariat to propose draft Operational Directives accordingly concerning the points in Paragraph 15 of the present Decision and reflecting its debates during the present session, for examination by the Committee at its ninth session;
  17. Reminds States Parties to take particular care in their periodic reports to avoid characterizing the practices and actions within other States, including expressions that might inadvertently diminish mutual respect among communities or impede intercultural dialogue.

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