10.COM 10

The Committee,

  1. Recalling Chapter I of the Operational Directives,
  2. Having examined documents ITH/15/10.COM/10, ITH/15/10.COM/10.a, ITH/15/10.COM/10.b and ITH/15/10.COM/10.c, and the files submitted by the respective States Parties,
  3. Commends the submitting States for the diversity of intangible cultural heritage presented during this cycle and congratulates in particular those submitting States having presented nominations that can serve as models for future submissions;
  4. Expresses its satisfaction with the work of the newly established Evaluation Body as a single body which allows greater coherency and consistency in the evaluation across different mechanisms of the Convention and is thankful to its members for their efforts and for the quality of the present report;
  5. Appreciates the assistance of the Secretariat during the work of the Evaluation Body;
  6. Renews its concern that the number of nominations for inscription on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, proposals to the Register of Best Safeguarding Practices and requests for International Assistance continue to be limited;
  7. Invites States Parties to pay careful attention to the different purposes of the Lists and to the associated criteria when elaborating the nomination;
  8. Recalls that the purpose of the Representative List is to ensure better visibility and awareness of the intangible cultural heritage in general, and to encourage dialogue which respects cultural diversity and therefore encourages the States Parties, when responding to criterion R.2, to clearly elucidate among the possible consequences of inscription those related to this overall purpose, while ensuring that responses to other criteria support such information;
  9. Further recalls that the Urgent Safeguarding List offers international recognition of specific threats to the viability of an element and should be accompanied by a well-elaborated safeguarding plan that adequately responds to those threats for a certain period of time following the inscription;
  10. Requests the Secretariat, in conformity with Decision 8.COM 5.c.1, to develop alternate, lighter ways of sharing safeguarding experiences to complement the Register of Best Safeguarding Practices;
  11. Notes with appreciation the work of the Secretariat in compiling a new aide-mémoire for International Assistance making accessible the issues discussed by past bodies and the Committee and related decisions, and reaffirms its invitation to States Parties to take full advantage of all three existing aides-mémoires when preparing future submissions;
  12. Takes note that the issue of adequate description of the contours of the community or group persists, particularly when nominations cover both an entire country or many sub-groups but also when they concern a part of the community, and reminds States Parties of the importance of providing a sufficiently detailed and comprehensive description of the communities, groups or, if applicable, individuals concerned and their participation in the elaboration of the nomination, and be consistent in this regard throughout the file;
  13. Further reminds States Parties that free, prior and informed consent above all means ‘consent to the nomination of the element, as formulated in the file’, instead of support for the element itself, its merits and/or its recognition by the international community;
  14. Further appreciates the efforts of submitting States to address the contribution of the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage to sustainable development, notably in terms of conflict resolution, peacebuilding, environmental sustainability, gender equality or enhancement of local economies, and encourages States Parties to continue elaborating submissions that address these aspects, thus contributing to the objectives of the Convention;
  15. Welcomes the growing submission of multinational nominations and, in reference to Decision 9.COM 10, decides that such nominations must demonstrate the awareness of all stakeholders concerned regarding the shared nature of the proposed element, their commitment to the multinational character of the nomination, as well as their participation and mutual cooperation in safeguarding measures;
  16. Further invites submitting States, when elaborating multinational nominations, to include all sub-groups sharing the same practices and traditions in their varied contexts across national boundaries, when appropriate, and to make use of the online tool introduced by the Secretariat to encourage multinational nominations;
  17. Reiterates, as emphasized in Decision 9.COM 10, the need to avoid inappropriate expressions or vocabulary that are not in line with the spirit of the Convention or may provoke misunderstanding among communities or groups and affect dialogue and mutual respect;
  18. Acknowledges the importance of the involvement of children in the transmission and enactment of intangible cultural heritage, and calls upon future Evaluation Bodies to continue reflecting on this involvement including challenging aspects such as the issue of child labour;
  19. Further Invites submitting States nominating elements that involve oral traditions to provide translation of lyrics and verse in order to achieve greater overall audience understanding, thus encouraging dialogue and mutual respect beyond national and language boundaries;
  20. Also reiterates that identification and definition of the various elements of the intangible cultural heritage are among the most important safeguarding obligations of States Parties and a prerequisite for nomination, and considers that, while each State Party is free to draw up one or more inventories in a manner geared to its own situation as stipulated in Article 12 of the Convention, the extract of the inventory provided in the nominations and the corresponding section in the nomination file taken together should:
    1. demonstrate that the inventory concerned relates clearly to living heritage;
    2. demonstrate that the inventory concerned meets the requirements laid out in Article 11 of the Convention with regard to the participation of communities, groups and relevant non-governmental organizations and if necessary, research institutes, and centres of expertise, in the elaboration and updating of the inventory, and include the demonstration of such participation;
    3. demonstrate that the inventory concerned meets the requirements laid out in Article 12 of the Convention with regard to regular updating, indicating the periodicity and modality of updating, understood not only as adding new elements but also as revising existing information on the evolving nature of the elements already included therein;
    4. indicate the name of the inventory concerned and the entity responsible (not necessarily at the national level) for maintaining and updating it, the date of inclusion of the element in the inventory and its reference;
    5. contain in the extract of the inventory provided more information than a name of the element in a list or just a few lines of description; in particular, the name of the communities, groups or, if applicable, individuals concerned, their geographic location and the range of the element should be specified and not contradict those described in the nomination form;
  21. Decides that criterion R.5/U.5 will not be considered satisfied if the relevant extracts of inventories and the corresponding section in the nomination taken together do not respect the above-mentioned guiding principles; the information contained in these extracts should be considered as complementary to the information included in the nomination file and therefore can be taken into account for evaluation;
  22. Further decides that, if a file has been referred, a criterion having been satisfied, on the basis of the information contained in the original file, will not be considered automatically as such in the future examination of the resubmitted file;
  23. Requests the Secretariat to prepare a guideline on inventories for the States Parties, including the above-mentioned minimum standard, taking into account the past decisions of the Committee and recommendations of the bodies, and to adjust the nomination forms accordingly;
  24. Further encourages the States Parties to take advantage of the combined Form ICH-01bis that allows the submission of nomination for inscription to the Urgent Safeguarding List and, simultaneously, of a request for International Assistance from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund to finance the proposed safeguarding plan associated to that nomination;
  25. Further encourages the Secretariat to continue to offer technical assistance and other support to States Parties wishing to request International Assistance and invites States Parties to take advantage of these possibilities.

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