Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 18.COM 7.A

The Committee,

  1. Having examined document LHE/23/18.COM/7.a,
  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 periodic reports on the status of elements inscribed on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, which serves as a key monitoring tool for the States Parties concerned and enables the Committee to assess the viability of elements at risk,
  4. Thanks the States Parties that submitted their reports on time, and appreciates the efforts of the State Party that has submitted its overdue report;
  5. Encourages States Parties to provide complete, comprehensive and up-to-date information in their reports, taking note of the observations provided in the analysis of the current and previous cycles;
  6. Congratulates States Parties for the improved viability of the inscribed elements, which is demonstrated by practitioners’ increased interest and engagement in safeguarding the element, in particular among young people, the active participation of community and civil society organizations, the emergence of new types of organizations, partnerships and networks, and strengthened intersectoral cooperation;
  7. Takes note of the increasing level of community engagement in developing and implementing safeguarding plans and measures, and recalls the importance of consistently seeking free, prior, sustained and informed consent from the communities, groups and individuals concerned for the documentation of their practices and the long-term preservation and accessibility of the relevant information, including on digital media;
  8. Welcomes the special attention paid to social inclusion through the involvement of vulnerable members of the population, such as temporarily displaced persons, victims of armed conflict, and persons with special needs or of diverse social backgrounds, and encourages States Parties to continue supporting and promoting such initiatives;
  9. Observes with satisfaction the growing prioritization of environmental and ecological sustainability, as reflected in several reports which highlighted communities’ efforts to address the shortage of raw materials and their transition from traditional materials derived from endangered and protected animal species to innovative alternative solutions;
  10. Further observes that the recommendations of the Committee provided in its previous decisions on the reports on the inscribed elements were mostly considered and reflected in updated safeguarding plans, and invites States to further improve the referencing where needed;
  11. Takes note that, based on the improved viability of the elements concerned, three States Parties have expressed their intention in their reports to consider the transfer of these elements from the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity; and invites these States Parties concerned to continue monitoring the viability of the elements concerned;
  12. Recalls that the designations employed in the reports presented by the States Parties do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Committee or UNESCO concerning: a) the legal status of any country, territory, city or area; b) the legal status of its authorities; or c) the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries;
  13. Decides to submit to the General Assembly at its eleventh 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.