Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 8.COM 5.C.1

The Committee,

  1. Having examined Document ITH/13/8.COM/5.c and its annex I, as well as the ‘Evaluation of UNESCO’s Standardsetting Work of the Culture Sector: Part I – 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage’ (Document IOS/EVS/PI/129 and Document ITH/13/8.COM/INF.5.c),
  2. Noting that the present evaluation constitutes the first such evaluation of the impact and effectiveness of the 2003 Convention,
  3. Takes note of the findings of the evaluation and the recommendations offered therein;
  4. Encourages States Parties to:
    1. Promote increased NGO and community involvement in the development of policy, legislation, safeguarding plans and sustainable development plans (Recommendation 2);
    2. Enhance cooperation with sustainable development experts for integrating intangible cultural heritage into non-cultural legislation, policy development and for other work related to intangible cultural heritage and sustainable development (Recommendation 3);
    3. Strengthen monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the Convention at the national level (Recommendation 24);
  5. Calls upon States Parties and the General Assembly, as well as the Secretariat, category 2 centres, non-governmental organizations and all other stakeholders, to:
    1. Promote the Urgent Safeguarding List by re-positioning it as an expression of States Parties’ commitment to safeguarding and to the implementation of the Convention (Recommendation 8), and promote international assistance as a tool for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage and the implementation of the Convention (Recommendations 13 and 14);
    2. Respect and promote the purposes and best use of the Representative List;
    3. Complement the Register of Best Safeguarding Practices by developing alternate, lighter ways of sharing safeguarding experiences such as dedicated websites, e-newsletters, online forums, etc. (Recommendation 12);
    4. Strengthen UNESCO’s long-standing cooperation with WIPO over traditional knowledge and culture to ensure an ongoing exchange and learning between the two organizations and their Member States, especially in the context of WIPO’s current discussions about a new international standard-setting instrument for the protection of the intellectual property rights of communities (Recommendation 15);
    5. Encourage a debate on the role of the private sector and of private/public partnerships in safeguarding intangible cultural heritage at all levels (national, regional and international) in order to better define their potential for cooperation and involvement (Recommendation 19);
    6. Strengthen informal sharing of interesting and innovative examples on working on the Convention, including about intangible cultural heritage safeguarding, development of policy and legislation, intangible cultural heritage and sustainable development, innovative partnerships and others (Recommendation 20);
  6. Recommends to the General Assembly to approve the amendments to the Operational Directives for the implementation of the Convention in order to:
    1. Have all nominations evaluated by one common and independent Body (Recommendation 11);
    2. Revise the accreditation process and criteria for NGOs to ensure that all accredited NGOs have the required experience and capacity to provide advisory services to the Committee (Recommendation 18);
  7. Requests the Secretariat to propose draft text of the Operational Directives accordingly concerning the points in Paragraph 6 of the present decision and reflecting its debates during the present session, for examination by the General Assembly at its fifth session;
  8. Decides to:
    1. Ensure that inscription of elements to all lists reflects closely the criteria and procedures specified in Chapter I of the Convention’s Operational Directives;
    2. Encourage representatives of accredited NGOs to participate in Committee debates prior to voting on agenda items and include the outcomes of the NGO forums (such as the NGO Statements) in the Committee agenda (Recommendation 17);
  9. Further decides to:
    1. Revise periodic reporting forms to include specific questions on policy, legislation and gender and to ensure that the reports focus on results and activities (Recommendation 21), in such a manner as to alleviate the burden of States Parties concerned and the Secretariat;
    2. Develop an overall results framework for the Convention including clear objectives, time-frames, indicators and benchmarks (Recommendation 22);
    3. Encourage States Parties to complement the data gathered on the implementation of the Convention through Periodic Reports submitted by States Parties including information provided by relevant NGOs (Recommendation 23);
  10. Requests the Secretariat to propose draft text of the Operational Directives accordingly concerning the points in Paragraph 9 of the present decision and reflecting its debates during the present session, for examination by the Committee at its ninth session;
  11. Further requests the Secretariat to:
    1. Revise all relevant documents and forms (including the Operational Directives, the Periodic Reporting formats, and nomination files) to include gender-specific guidance and questions (Recommendation 1);
    2. Support States Parties with the development of legislation and policy as part of the ongoing 2003 Convention capacity-building programme and design appropriate capacity-building formats to do so (Recommendation 4);
    3. Review and adapt, if necessary, the content and format of the capacity-building strategy to ensure that it responds to the major implementation challenges at the national level (Recommendation 7);
    4. Cooperate with sustainable development experts when supporting States Parties with the integration of intangible cultural heritage into non-cultural legislation and policy, and with other work related to intangible cultural heritage and sustainable development (Recommendation 5);
    5. Establish, with the full involvement of UNESCO Field Offices and in cooperation with UNESCO National Commissions, a follow-up mechanism for capacity-building activities to gather data about their effectiveness (Recommendation 6);
    6. Promote International Assistance as a capacity building mechanism for States Parties (Recommendation 14);
  12. Recognizes the need to create opportunities for joint thinking, exchange of experiences, cooperation and synergies between UNESCO’s culture conventions of 1972, 2003 and 2005 and establish appropriate mechanisms for this (Recommendation 16); invites the respective Intergovernmental Committees of the 1972 and 2005 Conventions to join efforts to that end; and requests the Secretariat to facilitate such cooperation and promote the establishment of such mechanisms.