Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 13.COM 11

The Committee,

  1. Having examined document ITH/18/13.COM/11,
  2. Recalling Article 11 of the Convention, Chapters VI.3 and VI.4 of the Operational Directives, the fifth point of the Ethical Principles for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage, along with Resolutions 38C/48 and 39C/35 of the General Conference on the Strategy for reinforcement of UNESCO’s action for the protection of culture and the promotion of cultural pluralism in the event of armed conflict, its Action Plan and its Addendum concerning emergencies associated with disasters caused by natural and human-induced hazards, as well as United Nations Security Council resolution 2347 (2017),
  3. Expresses its full support to individuals, groups and communities in situations of emergency and acknowledges their extraordinary courage and bravery in exploring creative ways of maintaining the practice and transmission of their living heritage despite the challenging contexts;
  4. Encourages States Parties to ensure that, to the extent possible, communities, groups and individuals, including displaced persons, have access to the instruments, objects, artefacts, cultural and natural spaces and places of memory, often also elements of their tangible cultural heritage, and whose existence is necessary for expressing their intangible cultural heritage;
  5. Expresses satisfaction with the efforts made to include community-based interventions for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage in the recovery projects and initiatives led by UNESCO in emergency contexts, including those related to the prevention of violent extremism;
  6. Welcomes the first steps taken to initiate dialogue with relevant UN and international bodies with a view to highlighting the threats to intangible cultural heritage in emergencies, including in cases of armed conflict, post-conflict situations and natural disasters, both in terms of how emergencies affect the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage and how intangible cultural heritage policies and activities can support preparedness and humanitarian relief;
  7. Reiterates the need to foster the links between disaster risk reduction and inventories of intangible cultural heritage and invites States Parties to refer to the guidance note on inventorying intangible cultural heritage in this regard;
  8. Commends the Secretariat for carrying out a survey on methodological approaches to the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage in emergencies worldwide;
  9. Requests that the Secretariat organize an individual expert meeting during the course of 2019 to conceptualize and transform the knowledge and experience acquired into methodological guidance for States Parties, or for any other relevant national or international stakeholders, and to submit the results of the meeting at its next session, and thanks the People’s Republic of China for its generous contribution to this end;
  10. Also invites States Parties to request emergency International Assistance, as they deem appropriate, and to make use of the technical assistance mechanisms with the support of the Secretariat, with a view to finalizing their requests in line with the principles of the Convention;
  11. Further requests that the Secretariat report to it on this issue at its fourteenth session in 2019.