Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 13.COM 7.b

The Committee,

  1. Having examined document ITH/18/13.COM/7.b,
  2. Recalling Articles 7, 29 and 30 of the Convention concerning reports by States Parties, and Chapter V of the Operational Directives,
  3. Thanks the States Parties that submitted their reports on time and invites the State Party that has not yet submitted its expected reports to duly do so at the earliest opportunity, and in any case no later than 15 December 2018 in order for the Committee to examine them at its fourteenth session in 2019;
  4. Takes note that the majority of the reports expected for the current cycle have been submitted, testifying to the continued attention paid by the States Parties concerned to the viability and safeguarding of elements inscribed on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding;
  5. Acknowledges that this is the second cycle of reporting for nine elements inscribed in 2009 and underlines the importance of successive reports being consistent with the reports on the same element submitted in previous cycles, to take into account the recommendations of the Committee included in its previous decisions;
  6. Encourages States Parties that benefitted from International Assistance under the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for safeguarding specific elements to report on it and invites those States in need of financial resources to implement their safeguarding plans for inscribed elements to request for International Assistance from the Fund;
  7. Recalls the possibility for States Parties to report online on the status of elements inscribed on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding and thanks Latvia and Viet Nam, who volunteered to test the online tool for the current cycle;
  8. While welcoming the achievements described by the States Parties concerned, further encourages them to include more information in their future reports on the challenges and difficulties encountered during the implementation of safeguarding plans, as well as to involve stakeholders in fields other than culture to address broader threats and to seek joint efforts in strengthening the viability of inscribed elements;
  9. Emphasizes the primary role of the communities, groups and individuals concerned during all stages of the safeguarding, including the reporting stage, and invites States Parties to report in full in the future on their involvement in the safeguarding of their respective elements;
  10. Also encourages reporting States to give particular attention in their future reports to gender roles and gender responsibilities in intangible cultural heritage elements as well as to specific measures adopted to safeguard them;
  11. Further underlines the importance of including updated and accurate safeguarding plans which represent a key monitoring tool for the Committee to assess the safeguarding efforts of States with regard to elements whose viability is at risk;
  12. Thanks the Government of Japan for the generous voluntary supplementary contribution to the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund to organize a preliminary meeting of experts and support the convening of an open-ended intergovernmental working group which will allow a reflection, inter alia, on the procedures for the removal of an element from a List and the transfer of an element from one List to the other to take place;
  13. Invites States Parties to ensure that, in the elaboration of periodic reports containing references to war or conflict or specific historical events, the report should be elaborated with utmost care, in order to avoid provoking misunderstanding among communities in any way, with a view to encouraging dialogue and mutual respect among communities, groups and individuals, and to avoid any language inconsistent with the UN Charter as well as the 2003 Convention, and encourages them to meticulously pursue this principle in their future work;
  14. Decides to submit to the General Assembly at its eighth session a summary of the reports of States Parties on the current status of elements inscribed on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding examined during the current session.