Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 9.COM 10

The Committee,

  1. Recalling Article 16 of the Convention,
  2. Further recalling Chapter I of the Operational Directives and its Decisions 5.COM 6, 6.COM 13, 7.COM 11 and 8.COM 8,
  3. Having examined Document ITH/14/9.COM/10 and the nomination files submitted by the respective States Parties,
  4. Expresses its satisfaction with the broad and geographically representative participation of States Parties during the 2014 cycle;
  5. Appreciates the submission of multinational nominations, while noting the challenges of framing elements of the intangible cultural heritage, in their varied contexts, that are shared by different communities, and encourages States Parties to highlight the sense of belonging of the concerned communities, groups and individuals and to clearly demonstrate their free, prior and informed consent to the multinational nomination as it is formulated; further encourages States Parties to submit multinational nominations on elements shared by different communities, groups and individuals in order to facilitate dialogue between cultures and communities;
  6. Commends States Parties for increasingly addressing the participation of women in intangible cultural heritage as well as the role that intangible cultural heritage can play in sustainable development including economically viable practices, and invites them to continue highlighting the contribution of intangible cultural heritage to sustainable development when elaborating future nominations;
  7. Appreciates the progressive inclusion of innovative safeguarding measures respecting customary practices governing access to aspects of the intangible cultural heritage, and congratulates States Parties for increasingly including multiple stakeholders and transversal approaches in their safeguarding plans;
  8. Reiterates that its decision not to inscribe an element at this time in no way constitutes a judgement on the merits of the element itself, but refers only to the adequacy of the information presented in the nomination file;
  9. Invites States Parties elaborating nominations to consult good examples of nominations available on the webpage of the 2003 Convention in order to learn from the experiences of other States Parties and thereby improve the quality of nominations submitted;
  10. Reminds States Parties that the nomination should be complete at the time of submission (31 March) and evidence of inclusion in an inventory or of the free, prior and informed consent of the communities, groups or individuals concerned should not normally be created ex post facto, after the nomination deadline;
  11. Reminds States Parties that mutual respect among communities, groups and individuals is a fundamental principle of the 2003 Convention and that inscriptions on the Representative List should encourage dialogue which respects cultural diversity, and reminds them that inscription of an element on the Representative List does not imply exclusivity or constitute a marker of intellectual property rights;
  12. Requests States Parties to avoid unnecessary reference in the titles of elements to specific countries or adjectives of nationality that may inadvertently provoke sentiments contrary to the Convention’s principle of international cooperation;
  13. Calls upon States Parties to ensure that, in case of proposals of elements that include references to conflict, combat or violence – whether between humans, between animals or between the two – the nomination file should be elaborated with utmost care, in order to avoid provoking misunderstanding among communities in any way, with a view to encouraging dialogue and mutual respect among communities, groups and individuals;
  14. Reaffirms that the communities, groups and, where appropriate, individuals concerned are essential participants at all stages of the identification and inventorying of intangible cultural heritage, the preparation and submission of nominations, the promotion of visibility of intangible cultural heritage and awareness of its significance, as well as the implementation of safeguarding measures, and calls upon submitting States to demonstrate community participation in the nomination process through ample and convincing evidence;
  15. Recalls that the Committee has always welcomed a wide range of evidence to demonstrate the free, prior and informed consent of communities, encourages submitting States to provide evidence of consent that reflects the sentiments of diverse individuals representing the community in all its diversity, and decides that individualized expressions of consent are preferable over form letters, petitions or uniform evidence of consent.