13.COM 10

The Committee,

  1. Recalling Chapter I of the Operational Directives,
  2. Having examined documents ITH/18/13.COM/10, ITH/18/13.COM/10.a, ITH/18/13.COM/10.b+Add.2, ITH/18/13.COM/10.c+Add. and ITH/18/13.COM/10.d, as well as the files submitted by the respective States Parties,
  3. Expresses its satisfaction with the work of the Evaluation Body, thanks its members for the quality of the present report and appreciates the assistance of the Secretariat to facilitate the work of the Evaluation Body;
  4. Takes note of the continuing trend to prioritize nominations to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity at the expense of the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding and the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices, and encourages States Parties to give special attention to these two mechanisms of the Convention;
  5. Congratulates in particular those submitting States having presented nominations for the first time;
  6. Appreciates the observations made by the Evaluation Body concerning its work for the 2018 cycle, notes that many of the issues raised in its previous decisions persist in the 2018 cycle, as summarized in paragraphs 66 and 67 of Document ITH/18/13.COM/10, and invites States Parties to the Convention to address these issues when submitting future nominations;
  7. Further takes note of the progress made thanks to the use of Form ICH-01 and FormICH-02 containing a revised Section 5, which led to a very limited number of nominations being referred on criteria U.5 and R.5, and welcomes the link made between nominations to the Lists of the Convention and the periodic reporting mechanism;

General issues

  1. Cautions States Parties about the risk of planning and implementing safeguarding plans that narrowly target specific aspects of a practice without taking into consideration the broader context in which intangible cultural heritage, in particular that is in need of urgent safeguarding, is practised, as these measures may not address the root threats to the continued transmission of the element and may therefore not safeguard living heritage in a sustainable manner;
  2. Notes that several nomination files refer to other UNESCO programmes, such as the 1972 Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions or the Creative Cities Network and reminds States Parties that while these instruments and programmes all contribute to the mandate of UNESCO and synergies between them should be encouraged, they all rely on different purposes and criteria from the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage;

Specific issues related to criteria of the Lists

  1. Recalls Decisions 12.COM 11 and 12.COM 14 and welcomes in this regard, the generous voluntary supplementary contribution of the Government of Japan to the Intangible Cultural Fund to organize a preliminary meeting of experts and support the convening of an open-ended intergovernmental working group; these two meetings would be called to reflect on, inter alia, the nature and purposes of the Lists and the Register established under the Convention and on the relevance of the various criteria for each of these mechanisms, in particular criterion R.2 in relation to the nature and purpose of the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;
  2. Recalls paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Operational Directives and reminds of the importance to make a distinction between safeguarding measures as required by criterion R.3 for the Representative List and safeguarding plan as required under criterion U.3 for the Urgent Safeguarding List while evaluating nominations on those lists during the future cycles;
  3. Further recalls Decisions 9.COM 10 and 10.COM 10 concerning criteria U.4 and R.4 and reminds States Parties of the need to ascertain the representativeness of the individuals, groups and entities that provide consent on behalf of the communities and to ensure that the evidence of consent refers specifically to the nomination of the element and does not use inappropriate concepts contradicting the provisions of the Convention;
  4. Also recalls Decision 10.COM10 concerning criteria U.5 and R.5, reminds States Parties that drawing up inventories of intangible cultural heritage that are developed and regularly updated with the participation of communities is one of the core obligations of the Convention and encourages States Parties to make use of the ‘Guidance Note on Inventorying Intangible Cultural Heritage’ developed by the Secretariat to assist their efforts in this regard;

Towards a dialogue mechanism

  1. Reaffirms Resolution 7.GA 6 and decides to request the Secretariat to transmit any questions of the Evaluation Body on files submitted for the 2019 cycle to States Parties concerned after the second meeting of the Evaluation Body in 2019;
  2. Invites submitting States Parties which shall receive such questions to submit clarifications to the Evaluation Body before the third meeting of the Evaluation Body in 2019 in English and French, in a form that will be provided by the Secretariat;
  3. Decides also to take stock of this provisional dialogue mechanism at its fourteenth session with a view to presenting possible amendments to the Operational Directives to the eighth session of the General Assembly of States Parties in 2020;
  4. Requests that the Secretariat propose ways to improve the inscription process of nominations taking into account imminent issues raised during the present session as the ‘early harvest package’, including an upstream dialogue mechanism between the Evaluation Body and the submitting States, in order to submit draft Operational Directives for adoption by the General Assembly at its eighth session in 2020;
  5. Also decides to seek for the finalization of the overall reflection process in time for the ninth session of the General Assembly in 2022.

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