The drummer, Florah Olebeng Letsholo, with the Council of Elderly Women
© Sylvester Rampete and Bakgatla ba Kgafela, Botswana, 2015

The eighteenth session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage took place at the Cresta Mowana Resort in Kasane, Republic of Botswana from Tuesday 5 to Friday 8 December 2023. It was the seventh time that the Committee meeting was held in Africa. The session saw the participation of over nine hundred participants, and was chaired by H.E. Mr Mustaq Moorad, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of the Republic of Botswana to UNESCO.

Following the work of the Evaluation Body, all 56 files presented to the Committee in the 2023 cycle were recommended for inscription, selection or approval. During this session, the Committee inscribed 6 elements on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, and 45 elements on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The committee also selected 4 programmes for the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices and granted one request for International Assistance. There were nine inscriptions involving countries in Africa and three inscriptions by Small Island Developing States (SIDS). For the first time, Angola, the Bahamas, Cameroon, Djibouti and Grenada had national inscriptions. Furthermore, twelve multinational elements were inscribed, serving as inspiring examples of international cooperation.

The session coincided with the end of the twentieth anniversary of the 2003 Convention which allowed those involved to promote the objectives of the Convention, take stock of past achievements and explore the Convention’s future development. The Committee celebrated the anniversary in the plenary and through numerous side events organised during the week - the Seoul Vision for the Future of Safeguarding Living Heritage for Sustainable Development and Peace as well as the call for action ‘The Spirit of Naples’ were highlighted in particular as outcomes of the anniversary celebrations.

At the session, 15 reports on the current status of elements inscribed on the Urgent Safeguarding List were examined. The Committee also took note of safeguarding trends, challenges and opportunities highlighted in the reports submitted by all eighteen States Parties in the Arab States. The Committee also endorsed a move towards a single global submission date for all States Parties, covering all aspects of the international cooperation mechanisms of the Convention that are currently reported on different schedules – this is in preparation for the Global Report on Cultural Policies, to be produced every four years following the MONDIACULT 2022 Declaration.

Additionally, the Committee reaffirmed the important role of intangible cultural heritage for inclusive social, economic and environmental development, and welcomed the progress made in the implementation of the thematic initiatives on the economic dimensions of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage, safeguarding intangible cultural heritage and climate change, and safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in urban contexts.

The session marked an important moment in the reflection on a broader implementation of Article 18 of the 2003 Convention. The Committee examined the recommendations of the Open-ended intergovernmental working group on how to ensure that the voices of communities are better heard, while improving access to and increasing the visibility of the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices. In this regard, the Committee took note of the step-by-step plan to establish an online platform for sharing good safeguarding experiences of communities around the world.

Echoing the important role played by non-governmental organizations in the implementation of the 2003 Convention, the report of the ICH NGO Forum was discussed which included the results of the first round of the mapping of the domains of competence of accredited non-governmental organizations. The Committee also established a new Evaluation Body for the 2024 cycle, including three new members.

Finally, it was decided that the nineteenth session of the Intergovernmental Committee would be held in Asunción, Paraguay from 2 to 7 December 2024.

Committee Members

Decisions: English|French

Angola, Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Czechia, Ethiopia, Germany, India, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Uzbekistan and Viet Nam


Bureau of the Committee

Composition & meetings

Agenda and documents

 Item of the agendaDocumentsRecordings*
1Opening LHE/23/18.COM/INF.1 Rev.: English|French
General Information 
2023-12-05 08:55: English|VO(video)
 
2Adoption of the agenda

Decision: 

LHE/23/18.COM/2: English|French
Adoption of the agenda
LHE/23/18.COM/INF.2.1 Rev.5: English|French
Provisional timetable
LHE/23/18.COM/INF.2.2 Rev.4: English|French
Provisional list of documents 
2023-12-05 09:05: English|VO(video)
 
3Observers

Decision: 

LHE/23/18.COM/3: English|French
 
2023-12-05 09:17: English|VO(video)
 
4Adoption of the summary records of the seventeenth session of the Committee

Decision: 

LHE/23/18.COM/4: English|French
 
2023-12-05 09:19: VO(video)
 
5Report by the Secretariat on its activities (January 2022 to June 2023)

Decision: 

LHE/23/18.COM/5: English|French
 
2023-12-05 09:35: VO(video)
2023-12-05 13:40: VO(video)
 
6Twentieth anniversary of the 2003 Convention in 2023

Decision: 

LHE/23/18.COM/6 Rev.: English|French
 
2023-12-07 09:31: VO(video)
 
7.aExamination of the reports by States Parties on the current status of elements inscribed on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding LHE/23/18.COM/7.a: English|French
See the 15 reports 
2023-12-07 10:55: VO(video)
 
7.bExamination of the reports of the regional cycle of periodic reporting on the implementation of the Convention and on the current status of elements inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by States Parties in the Arab States

Decision: 

LHE/23/18.COM/7.b Rev.: English|French
See the 18 reports 
2023-12-07 13:35: French|VO(video)
 
7.cUpdate on the regional cycles of the Convention’s periodic reporting and proposal for related amendments to the Operational Directives

Decision: 

LHE/23/18.COM/7.c Rev.: English|French
Update on the regional cycles of the Convention’s periodic reporting and proposal for related amendments to the Operational Directives
LHE/23/18.COM/INF.7.c: English|French
Analytical Report of the first cycle of periodic reporting on the implementation of the Convention and on the current status of elements inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by States Parties in Europe 
2023-12-07 13:50: French|VO(video)
 
8Report of the Evaluation Body on its work in 2023

Decision: 

LHE/23/18.COM/8: English|French

Order of files / Ordre des dossiers: English|French
(Indicative - 7 December 2023) 
2023-12-05 14:08: French|VO(video)
2023-12-06 15:54: English|French|VO(video)
2023-12-07 08:35: VO(video)
 
8.aExamination of nominations for inscription on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding LHE/23/18.COM/8.a: English|French
See the 6 nominations 
2023-12-05 15:12: VO(video)
 
8.bExamination of nominations for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity LHE/23/18.COM/8.b: English|French
See the 45 nominations 
2023-12-05 16:23: English|French|VO(video)
2023-12-05 18:26: VO(video)
2023-12-06 08:40: French|VO (video)
2023-12-06 13:50: French|VO(video)
2023-12-06 14:55: French|VO(video)
 
8.cExamination of proposals to the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices LHE/23/18.COM/8.c: English|French
See the 4 proposals 
2023-12-06 14:09: French|VO (video)
 
8.dExamination of requests for International Assistance

Decision: 

LHE/23/18.COM/8.d: English|French
See the request 
2023-12-06 14:50: English|VO(video)
 
9Follow-up on elements inscribed on the Lists of the Convention

Decision: 

LHE/23/18.COM/9: English|French
 
2023-12-07 14:20: French|VO(video)
 
10Report on International Assistance from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund and proposal for related amendments to the Operational Directives

Decision: 

LHE/23/18.COM/10: English|French
 
2023-12-07 14:30: French|VO(video)
 
11Reflection on a broader implementation of Article 18 of the Convention and proposal for related amendments to the Operational Directives

Decision: 

LHE/23/18.COM/11: English|French
Reflection on a broader implementation of Article 18 of the Convention and proposal for related amendments to the Operational Directives
LHE/23/18.COM/INF.11: English|French
Summary records of the meeting of the Open-ended intergovernmental working group in the framework of the reflection on the broader implementation of Article 18 of the Convention 
2023-12-07 15:20: French|VO(video)
2023-12-08 08:40: VO(video)
 
12Thematic initiatives on living heritage and sustainable development

Decision: 

LHE/23/18.COM/12 Rev.: English|French
 
2023-12-08 09:42: English|French|VO(video)
 
13Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund: voluntary supplementary contributions and other issues

Decision: 

LHE/23/18.COM/13: English|French
 
2023-12-08 10:20: English|French|VO(video)
 
14Draft plan for the use of the resources of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund in 2024 and 2025

Decision: 

LHE/23/18.COM/14: English|French
Draft plan for the use of the resources of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund in 2024 and 2025
LHE/23/18.COM/INF.14: English|French
Report on the use of the resources of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for the period 1 January 2022 to 30 June 2023 
2023-12-08 10:34: English|French|VO(video)
 
15Report of the non-governmental organizations forum

Decision: 

LHE/23/18.COM/15: English|French
 
2023-12-08 10:53: English|French|VO(video)
 
16Accreditation of new non-governmental organizations and review of accredited non-governmental organizations

Decision: 

LHE/23/18.COM/16: English|French
See the 73 accreditation requests and the 91 activity reports for review 
2023-12-08 13:39: English|French|VO(video)
 
17Establishment of the Evaluation Body for the 2024 cycle

Decision: 

LHE/23/18.COM/17 Rev.2: English|French
 
2023-12-08 09:23: English|French|VO(video)
2023-12-08 11:27: English|French|VO(video)
 
18Date and place of the nineteenth session of the Committee

Decision: 

LHE/23/18.COM/18: English|French
 
2023-12-08 13:49: English|French|VO(video)
 
19Election of the members of the Bureau of the nineteenth session of the Committee

Decision: 

LHE/23/18.COM/19: English|French
 
2023-12-08 13:58: English|French|VO(video)
 
20Report by the Committee to the General Assembly on its activities (January 2022 to December 2023)

Decision: 

LHE/23/18.COM/20: English|French
 
2023-12-08 14:04: English|French|VO(video)
 
21Other business

Decision: 

LHE/23/18.COM/21: English|French
 
2023-12-08 14:08: English|French|VO(video)
 
22Adoption of the list of decisions  2023-12-08 14:12: English|French|VO(video)
 
23Closure  2023-12-08 14:14: English|French
2023-12-08 14:14: French
2023-12-08 14:14: English|French|VO(video)
 

*The interpretation of proceedings serves to facilitate communication and does not constitute an authentic record of the proceedings. Only the original speech is authentic. Due to onsite technical difficulties, some recordings may not be available in English, French and/or Spanish.

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