Decision of the Bureau: 10.COM 1.BUR 2.1

The Bureau,

  1. Recalling Chapter V of the Convention and Chapter I of the Operational Directives,
  2. Further recalling paragraph 50 of the Operational Directives, determining the cases when a request for international assistance constitutes an emergency request eligible to receive priority consideration by the Bureau,
  3. Having examined Document ITH/15/10.COM 1.BUR/2 as well as file No. 01051,
  4. Takes note that Côte d’Ivoire has requested international assistance in the amount of US$299,972 for Inventory of the intangible cultural heritage present in Côte d’Ivoire in view of its urgent safeguarding’:

The political and military crisis that the country experienced between 2002 and 2011 halted the active efforts engaged by Côte d’Ivoire since many years in the identification of elements of the intangible cultural heritage present in its territory and affected it negatively, notably by the interruption of certain practices violently suppressed or the denaturation of certain elements emptying them of their value and traditional social functions. In this context, the current project aims to draw up the inventory of the intangible cultural heritage present in Côte d’Ivoire with a view to its urgent safeguarding and valorisation as one of the major lines of action for the consolidation of peace and lasting stabilisation in the country under the National Programme for Social Cohesion. The inventory will allow the initiation of a national strategy of safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage that aims to create a synergy between the different stakeholders, to assess the viability of the intangible cultural heritage, to undertake advocacy, awareness-raising, valorisation and promotional actions around this heritage, and capacity building for its safeguarding.

  1. Recognizes that the emergency is clearly demonstrated in the request which is based on the will of Côte d’Ivoire to capitalize on the role of the intangible cultural heritage as a factor of rapprochement and mutual understanding with a view to national reconciliation and the establishment of lasting peace,
  2. Decides that, from the information provided in file No. 01051, the request responds as follows to the criteria for granting International Assistance given in paragraphs 10 and 12 of the Operational Directives:
Criterion A.1: The communities have been involved in the development of the request through preliminary consultations organised with their representatives, notably the Higher Council of Kings and Traditional Chiefs of Côte d’Ivoire, and a mechanism has been put in place for their implication and their participation at all stages of the project, beginning with the definition of the activities and their timetable. They will be represented in the implementing structures, as well as in the project’s national and regional coordination teams, and inventory teams. In the phase of data collecting and processing, the communities’ representatives will monitor in particular that customary rules and codes governing access to elements of the intangible cultural heritage are respected. Communities’ access to the project’s results will be guaranteed by the distribution of the inventory data and the database will equally be used in the interests of its safeguarding.

Criterion A.2: The amount of assistance requested seems to be in accordance with the proposed activities and corresponds to the planned activities.

Criterion A.3: The objectives and results of the project are clearly defined and seem achievable. The activities are divided into two phases – phase 1 covering the most affected regions situated to the west and centre-west of Côte d’Ivoire and phase 2 the other regions – and they are listed in a detailed and structured way according to a well-established timetable. The allocation of tasks and responsibilities, the available human resources and the coordination between the partners as well as the decentralised structures are clearly indicated.

Criterion A.4: The results of the project will be sustained through several actions: the establishment of a national council for the intangible cultural heritage; the creation of a safeguarding system; the development of a programme of valorisation and promotion of the intangible cultural heritage, for which financing will be assured by the state budget and contributions from bilateral and multilateral partners in the framework of the action plans of the national culture policy; and integrating the intangible cultural heritage into the national legislation on cultural heritage and its integration into formal and informal education programmes, for which financial resources will be allocated in the Ministry of Culture’s budget. Furthermore, the participation of research institutes and centres in the domain of social and human sciences in the project will allow them to take into account the results of the project in their programmes and future research projects.

Criterion A.5: The budget clearly distinguishes the amount requested from the Fund and the contribution from the State Party which amounts to about 36% (US$167,780) of the total amount of the project, which constitutes a significant proof of commitment from the national authorities in this project.

Criterion A.6: The project will contribute to the development of capacity building, the strengthening of human resources and existing material, on an institutional as well as community level. The training workshops, the practical inventory work, the creation of the database and the purchase of appropriate material will allow the Ivorian Cultural Administration and the communities to appropriate the principles of the 2003 Convention, including the role and obligations of the State; to acquire the necessary expertise for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage, notably with regard to the inventory, the development of safeguarding measures and the valorisation and promotion of elements of the intangible cultural heritage; and to have access to technical equipment  in order to be operational.

Criterion A.7: The State Party has not previously benefitted from financial assistance from UNESCO in the field of the intangible cultural heritage.

Criterion 10(b): The assistance seems able to generate a multiplier effect. In fact, in its social and economic development efforts, Côte d’Ivoire plans to integrate the intangible cultural heritage in several sustainable development programmes and projects. Furthermore, in its efforts to stabilise Côte d’Ivoire, the international community, through the United Nations system, envisages allocating a project and financial resources to the contribution of the intangible cultural heritage for the restoration of peace and social cohesion in Côte d’Ivoire.

  1. Approves, as authorized body, the international assistance request from the Côte d’Ivoire for Inventory of the intangible cultural heritage present in Côte d’Ivoire in view of its urgent safeguarding’ (No. 01051) for an amount of US$299,972;
  2. Commends the initiative of the State Party to submit an emergency request and its will to position the intangible cultural heritage at the heart of its strategy for national cohesion;
  3. Invites the State Party to assure the full participation of all the identified partners on a national and decentralised level and to guarantee the widest possible participation of the communities concerned;
  4. Further invites the State Party to carefully reconsider the purpose of the proposed mapping of the viability of intangible cultural heritage elements as well as the modalities for its elaboration so that such a map can serve as a tool for future activities aimed for the reconciliation of communities in conflict areas;
  5. Encourages the State Party to implement the project in close collaboration with UNESCO and the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (ONUCI) with a view to assuring a coordination and complementarity of different projects that will be put in place with the United Nations system on the intangible cultural heritage as leverage for reconciliation and intercommunity dialogue;
  6. Further encourages the State Party, at the end of this project, to share its experiences and its results with the international community and all other interested countries;
  7. Takes note of the positive experience of technical assistance provided to Côte d’Ivoire in the review of its request for international assistance;
  8. Requests the Secretariat to reach agreement with the requesting State Party on the technical details of the assistance, paying particular attention to the detailed budget of activities taken into account by the Fund of the intangible cultural heritage;
  9. Invites the State Party to use the ICH-04-Report Form when reporting on the use made of assistance provided.