Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 2.COM 11

The Committee,

  1. Having examined document ITH/07/2.COM/CONF.208/11+Corr.;
  2. Recalling the articles of the Convention concerning international assistance, in particular Article 7 (g)(ii) and Articles 19 to 24;
  3. Further recalling Resolution 1.GA 7A of the General Assembly;
  4. Submits to the General Assembly for approval the operational directives on international assistance as annexed to this Decision, and recommends that the General Assembly decide that the deadlines for submission of requests for preparatory assistance for the purpose of the first inscriptions on the Urgent Safeguarding List (2009) shall be the deadlines set out in the transitional timetable adopted by the Committee in its Decision 2.COM 6;
  5. Adopts the Format for requesting international assistance as annexed to this Decision.

ANNEX 1: Operational directives for international assistance

Purposes and forms of international assistance


International assistance provided to States Parties for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage is supplementary to national efforts for safeguarding (Article 24.2).


The Committee may receive, evaluate and approve requests for any purpose and for any form of international assistance mentioned in Articles 20 and 21 of the Convention respectively, depending on the available resources. Priority is given to requests for international assistance concerning:

a.    the safeguarding of the heritage inscribed on the Urgent Safeguarding List (Article 20 (a));
b.    the preparation of inventories in the sense of Articles 11 and 
       12 (Article 20 (b));
c.    support for programmes, projects and activities carried out at
       the national, subregional and regional levels aimed at the
       safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage (Article 20 (c)).


International assistance as described in Articles 20 and 21 may be granted on an emergency basis as mentioned in Article 22 of the Convention (Emergency assistance).


The Committee may also receive, evaluate and approve requests for preparatory assistance aimed to help the elaboration of requests for inscription on the Urgent Safeguarding List referred to in Article 17 of the Convention and for proposals as referred to in Article 18 (Preparatory assistance).

Eligibility and selection criteria


All States Parties are eligible to request international assistance.


When evaluating requests for international assistance, the Committee shall take into account the principle of equitable geographical distribution and the special needs of developing countries. The Committee may also take into account whether:

a.    the request implies cooperation at the bilateral, regional
       and/or international levels;
b.    the assistance may have a multiplier effect and may stimulate
       financial and technical
       contributions from other sources.


The Committee’s decisions on granting assistance will be based on the following criteria: 

a.    The community(ies)/group(s) and/or individual(s) concerned
       were involved in the preparation of the request and
       will be involved in the implementation of the proposed
       activities, and in their evaluation and follow-up;
b.    The amount of assistance requested is appropriate;
c.    The proposed activities are well conceived and feasible;
d.    The project may have lasting results;
e.    The beneficiary State Party shares the cost of the activities for
       which international assistance is
       provided (Article 24.2 of the Convention), within the limits of its
f.     The assistance aims at building up or reinforcing capacities
       in the field of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage;
g.    The beneficiary State Party has implemented previously
       financed activities, if any, in line with all
       regulations and any conditions applied thereto.

Procedure for the submission of international assistance requests


States Parties may submit to the Committee requests for international assistance. Such requests may also be jointly submitted by two or more States Parties.


Requests for international assistance have to be submitted to the Secretariat by using the application form presented in Annex *** of these Operational Directives.


Requests for preparatory assistance should be received by the Secretariat by 1 September two years before the envisaged evaluation by the Committee of requests for inscription on the Urgent Safeguarding List foreseen under Article 17 of the Convention, or by 1 September one year before the envisaged evaluation by the Committee of proposals of programmes, projects and activities as foreseen under Article 18.


The Secretariat shall assess the completeness of the request and may ask for additional information. It shall inform the requesting State(s) Party(ies) about the possible evaluation dates of the request.


The Secretariat shall seek examination for complete requests over USD 25 000. 


The Secretariat shall submit complete requests to the relevant authority for evaluation and approval:

(In the table below “Other assistance” refers to all assistance other than emergency or preparatory assistance.)


Deadline for submission

Authority for approval

Less than
USD 25 000

Emergency assistance

At any time

Bureau of the Committee

Preparatory assistance

1 September

Other assistance

Any time

USD 25 000
or more

Emergency assistance

At any time


Other assistance

1 May


The Secretariat shall communicate the decision concerning the granting of assistance to the requesting party(ies) within two weeks following the decision. The Secretariat shall reach agreement with the requesting party(ies) on the details of the assistance.


The assistance will be subject to monitoring, reporting and evaluation, as appropriate.


ANNEX 2: Format for requesting international assistance

·         States Parties submitting requests for international assistance are encouraged to consult the Secretariat during the
          preparation of their request. The Secretariat may provide examples of successful international assistance

UNESCO Intangible Heritage Section
International Assistance Requests
1, rue Miollis
75732 Paris cedex 15
Tel.: +33 (0) 1456 8xxxx

·         If possible, complete this form online and submit it to the abovementioned e-mail address. Send in any case a signed paper
          copy to the postal address above.
·         Please indicate whether the request concerns: 


Emergency assistance, as indicated in Article 22 of the Convention


Fill out sections 1, 2, 3 and 7 of this format. The information required in the other sections can be submitted at a later stage, if relevant.


Preparatory assistance for nominations to the Urgent Safeguarding List or for the proposals referred to in Article 18 of the Convention


Fill out sections 1, 2 and 7 of this format. The information required in the other sections can be submitted at a later stage, if relevant.


Other assistance, including requests concerning heritage inscribed on the Urgent Safeguarding List, the preparation of inventories and other safeguarding activities.


Fill out all sections of this format.

Section 1: Project title and basic information


Project title:

If the request concerns part of a larger project, indicate for which part/phase of the project assistance is requested.


Beneficiary State(s) Party(ies):


Beneficiary community(ies), group(s) or, if appropriate, individuals.


Proposed implementing agency(ies):

Provide the name(s) and contact details of the agency(ies) that may be responsible for implementing the project.


Time frame:

Indicate the starting and ending dates of the project. The time frame may also be expressed in terms of duration only.


Location(s) of the activity(ies):


Co-funding sources, if any:


Total amount requested:


Previous support from UNESCO or other donors for the same or a closely related purpose, if any:


Scope of the activity(ies):

Specify: local, national, subregional, regional or international


Other support:

Indicate any partners providing additional financial or technical assistance, if any


Executive summary:

Describe in about 200 words the actual situation, the objectives, the activities and the main expected results.

Section 2: Justification and description of activities



Describe in 250 words maximum the long-term objectives and the specific short-term objectives to which the proposed activity will contribute.



Describe in 250 words maximum the key activities to be carried out in order to produce the expected results.


Expected results:

Describe in 150 words maximum the expected results. 

Section 3: Project management and implementation


Community involvement:

Describe the involvement of the community(ies) or its/their representatives in the preparation and implementation of the project.



Describe, if applicable, co-ordination arrangements with any other partners and their responsibilities in the implementation of the project.


Reporting and evaluation:

Describe by whom, when and how reporting and evaluation of the project will be carried out. Standard formats for reporting and evaluation are available from the Secretariat.

Section 4: Visibility of the project



Describe the means for ensuring the visibility of the project.

Section 5: Capacity building


Capacity building:

Describe how the project may contribute to building up capacities or strengthening existing resources, for instance in the communities and/or in the implementing agency(ies) concerned.

Section 6: Sustainability of the project



Describe how the results and benefits of the project will last beyond the end of the project.

Section 7: Work plan and budget


Work plan:

Provide a timetable for the proposed activities



(a)  Provide a detailed budget breakdown in USD of the amount requested, by type of cost (e.g. equipment, personnel, etc.) or by activity;

(b)  Indicate the contribution by the beneficiary State Party, if any;

(c)  When the overall project benefits from contributions of other funding sources, specify those contributions in a separate table.