1966 – UNESCO’s General Conference adopts the Declaration on the Principles of International Cultural Cooperation, which provides the basis for the development of cultural policies within UNESCO

1970 – An Intergovernmental Conference on the Institutional, Administrative and Financial Aspects of Culture is convened (Venice, Italy), marking the emergence of the notions of “cultural development” and of the “cultural dimension of development”

1972 – When the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage is adopted, several Member States express interest in the importance of safeguarding what was later to be called intangible heritage

1973 – Bolivia proposes that a Protocol be added to the Universal Copyright Convention in order to protect folklore

1982 – The Mondiacult World Conference on Cultural Policies (Mexico City) acknowledges the increasing importance attached to ‘intangible cultural heritage’ and includes it in its new definition of culture and cultural heritage

1982 – UNESCO sets up the Committee of Experts on the Safeguarding of Folklore; “Section for the Non-Physical Heritage” established

1989 – The Recommendation on the Safeguarding of Traditional Culture and Folklore is adopted by the General Conference

1994 – UNESCO launches the Living Human Treasures programme, following a proposal by the Republic of Korea

1996 – The report “Our Creative Diversity” notes that the 1972 Convention is not appropriate for celebrating and protecting artifacts and such expressions as dance or oral traditions, and calls for the development of other forms of recognition to match the true range and wealth of heritage found across the world

1997/1998 – UNESCO launches the Proclamation of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity

1997 – UNESCO and the Moroccan National Commission organize an international consultation on the preservation of popular cultural spaces in Marrakesh in June

1999 – UNESCO and the Smithsonian Institution jointly organize the Conference: “A Global Assessment of the 1989 Recommendation on the Safeguarding of Traditional Culture and Folklore: Local Empowerment and International Cooperation”, in Washington DC, USA

2001 – The First Proclamation of 19 Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity takes place in May. In October, UNESCO’s Member States adopt the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, together with an action plan

2003 – The 32nd session of the General Conference adopts the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in October. In November, the Second Proclamation inscribes 28 new Masterpieces

2004 – Algeria deposits its instrument of approval on March 15, thus becoming the first State Party to the Convention

2005 – The Proclamation of 43 Masterpieces brings the total to 90

2006 – The Convention enters into force on April 20