Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 18.COM 8

The Committee,

  1. Recalling Chapter I of the Operational Directives,
  2. Having examined documents LHE/23/18.COM/8, LHE/23/18.COM/8.a, LHE/23/18.COM/8.b, LHE/23/18.COM/8.c and LHE/23/18.COM/8.d, as well as the files submitted by the respective States Parties,
  3. Expresses its satisfaction with the work of the Evaluation Body, thanks its members for the quality of the present report and appreciates the assistance of the Secretariat to facilitate the work of the Evaluation Body, which has ensured a transition following the completion in July 2022 of the global reflection on the listing mechanisms of the Convention;
  4. Recognizes the need to monitor the implementation of the outcomes of the global reflection on the listing mechanisms of the Convention, including the additional tasks entrusted to the Evaluation Body;
  5. Acknowledges with appreciation that all files presented to the Committee in this cycle are recommended by the Evaluation Body for inscription, selection or approval, considers that such an overwhelmingly positive outcome is a consequence of, inter alia, the use of the dialogue process and the capacity-building activities, and encourages the Secretariat and the Evaluation Body to pursue this promising direction for the present and future implementation of the listing mechanisms of the Convention and, at the same time, invites all submitting States to take careful note of the advice given by the Evaluation Body on each nomination as well as cross-cutting issues including those raised in its previous decisions as summarized in paragraphs 35 and 37 of the present report;
  6. Requests the Secretariat to make the upstream dialogue process exchange documents available to the Intergovernmental Committee simultaneously with the report of the Evaluation Body, and further requests the Secretariat to publish these documents alongside the entire nomination files on the website of the Convention after the inscription, as the information included is part and parcel of the examination process and provides supplementary information concerning the inscribed elements;
  7. Congratulates those submitting States that have presented nominations that could serve as good examples for future nominations and notes with satisfaction the wider geographical balance and regional representation among these files;
  8. Recalls that the designations employed in the texts and documents presented by the submitting States Parties do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Committee nor 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;

Support to States Parties

  1. Appreciates the efforts of the Evaluation Body in making the broadest possible use of the dialogue process, contributing towards achieving more geographical balance in the Lists and the Register of the Convention, and encourages the Evaluation Body to continue utilizing this process in future cycles;
  2. Invites States Parties, particularly those with no inscriptions on the Lists and Register of the Convention, to consider utilising preparatory assistance as provided for in the International Assistance mechanism of the Convention, with reference to paragraphs 21 and 22 of the Operational Directives;

Thematic issues

  1. Highlights the role of ‘family’ amongst the present cycle’s files, particularly that of women, in safeguarding living heritage and transmitting living heritage practices in non-formal settings and everyday life, while appreciating the indexing analysis undertaken to understand the thematic connections between the nominated elements in order to characterise the 2023 cycle;
  2. Welcomes the continued attention given to the links with the environment and biocultural diversity, and encourages submitting States to take into account any potential impact on the environment in their safeguarding measures;
  3. Encourages States Parties to explore ways, when preparing nominations and following-up after the inscription, to maximize the positive effects of economic dimensions of intangible cultural heritage elements on communities, groups and individuals while mitigating their negative impacts;
  4. Further takes note that a number of files in this cycle concern migrant or nomadic communities as well as the phenomenon of rural-to-urban migration, and encourages submitting States to ensure that such nominations describe the communities concerned in detail, as well as the context and social functions of the element;

Central role of communities, groups and individuals

  1. Also takes note that a noticeable number of nominations submitted continue to feature standardized letters of consent and lists of organizations involved in the safeguarding plan, and reminds submitting States to ensure the widest possible participation of communities in the planning of the safeguarding measures, in line with the Ethical Principles for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, and to ensure that files clearly explain their role in these measures.