Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 15.COM 7

The Committee,

  1. Having examined document LHE/20/15.COM/7,
  2. Recalling Articles 7, 29 and 30 of the Convention concerning reports by States Parties and Chapter V of the Operational Directives,

  3. Underlining the importance of reporting on updated and accurate safeguarding plans on the status of elements inscribed on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, which represents a key monitoring tool for assessing the viability of elements at risk,

  4. Thanks the States Parties that submitted their reports on time, welcomes the achievements reported by States Parties in implementing their safeguarding plans and invites them to continue their efforts to safeguard and transmit these elements as a matter of priority;

  5. Regrets that several reports have not been submitted in time and further invites the States Parties that have not yet submitted their expected reports to fulfil their reporting requirements before submitting new nominations at the earliest opportunity, bearing in mind the statutory deadline of 15 December 2020 in order for the Committee to examine these reports at its sixteenth session in 2021;

  6. Requests the Secretariat to include an item on the provisional agenda of its next ordinary session, concerning a possible amendment of the Operational Directives on restricting the evaluation of new nomination files if the reporting duties concerning already inscribed elements have not been fulfilled by the States Parties;

  7. Also invites the States Parties to use the online interface of Form ICH-11 to report on the status of the elements in order to facilitate the processing and analysis of the information collected through the reports;

  8. Acknowledges that this is the second cycle of reporting for seven elements inscribed in 2011 and underlines the importance of successive reports taking into account the recommendations of the Committee for the reports on the same element submitted in previous cycles, as well as of including updated information on the progress made with the implementation of the safeguarding plans since the previous report;

  9. Takes note of the growing role of formal and non-formal education as well as of various institutions such as museums in enhancing the effectiveness of safeguarding plans and encourages reporting States to include information in future reports on how the different stakeholders involved contribute to the safeguarding efforts in this regard;

  10. Further encourages States Parties that have benefitted from International Assistance under the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for safeguarding specific elements to report on this and invites those States in need of financial resources to implement their safeguarding plans for inscribed elements to request International Assistance from the Fund;

  11. Emphasizes the primary role played by the communities, groups and individuals concerned, including indigenous communities, throughout all stages of the safeguarding as well as the reporting stage, and further invites States Parties to report on how their active participation in the safeguarding of the elements is being ensured;

  12. Further acknowledges that the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage could have a positive impact on gender equity and also encourages reporting States to pay particular attention in their reports to specific safeguarding measures that could enhance gender equity;

  13. Encourages reporting States to address the broader environmental and socio-economic challenges that may be encountered in the implementation of the safeguarding plans of elements in their reports and how these challenges may affect the viability of the inscribed elements;

  14. Also acknowledges the enhanced viability of certain inscribed elements, which have been reported to be no longer in need of urgent safeguarding, commends those States that have undertaken safeguarding measures to ensure their viability, however recalls Decision 12.COM 14 to those States that expressed their desire to transfer elements from the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, which invites States Parties to refrain from submitting requests for such a transfer until clear procedures have been created;

  15. Decides to submit to the General Assembly at its ninth 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.