11.COM 15

The Committee,

  1. Having examined document ITH/16/11.COM/15,
  2. Recalling its Decision 5.COM 10.2,
  3. Further recalling Article 11 of the Convention, Chapter VI.3 and Chapter VI.4 of the Operational Directives, as well as the fifth point of the Ethical Principles for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage,
  4. Takes note of the Resolution of the Human Rights Council on Cultural rights and the protection of cultural heritage of September 2016 (A/HRC/33/L.21) and of the Report of the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights to the United Nations General Assembly (A/71/317), as well as the strategy for reinforcing UNESCO’s action for the protection of culture and the promotion of cultural pluralism in the event of armed conflict adopted in 2015 by the General Conference of UNESCO at its thirty-eighth session (38 C/Resolution 48);
  5. Expresses its profound sympathy and compassion to those affected by situations of emergencies, while paying respect to communities, groups and individuals deploying incommensurable efforts to safeguard and maintain the practice and transmission of their intangible cultural heritage in such difficult contexts;
  6. Recognizes the dual nature of intangible cultural heritage in emergencies, whereby on the one hand its viability can be directly threatened, and on the other hand its mobilization as a powerful leverage for resilience and recovery can be of significant benefit to affected populations;
  7. Calls upon States Parties, with reference to the above-mentioned Ethical Principles, as well as in respect of their obligations as regards Articles 11 and 15, to ensure access of communities, groups and individuals, including displaced persons, to the extent possible, to the instruments, objects, artefacts, cultural and natural spaces and places of memory whose existence is necessary for expressing the intangible cultural heritage;
  8. Invites States Parties in emergencies to submit emergency requests for International Assistance, as they deem appropriate and requests the Bureau of the Committee and the Secretariat to facilitate and further accelerate expedient response to requests for assistance in case of extreme urgencies;
  9. Encourages the Secretariat to enhance gathering knowledge and gaining experience on the role of communities in both safeguarding their intangible cultural heritage at risk in emergencies and mobilizing it as a tool for preparedness, resilience, reconciliation and recovery and to present examples of such mobilization to its coming session;
  10. Decides to continue the discussion on this issue at its next session in 2017 with a view to exploring more operational modalities for the implementation of the principles of the 2003 Convention in situations of emergencies.

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