This Second Committee of Governmental Experts was convened by the Director-General in pursuance of decision 5.6.2 adopted by the Executive Board at its 116th session, a decision of which the General Conference took note at its twenty-second session. The aim of this meeting was to carry out a thorough study of the possible range and scope of general international regulations concerning the safeguarding of folklore. Representatives from 41 Member States participated in the proceedings, and experts from six Member States and from two non-Member States attended the meeting in the capacity of observers.
During this meeting, the need to identify, preserve and protect folklore from the risks of being forgotten, distorted, impaired, caricatured or pillaged, since folklore is an integral part of the heritage, and of the cultural identity of the various peoples, was recognized by a wide majority. Several delegations stressed the value of the safeguarding of folklore and its importance for certain States.
Reference was made on several occasions to the threatened loss and disappearance of certain elements of folklore, particularly in the face of modem communication technologies which facilitate the importation of foreign cultures, thus replacing local cultural traditions and promoting the hegemony of imported cultures.
Most delegations underscored the need for an international instrument of some description for the preservation of folklore. Some delegations, however, expressed reservations as to the advisability of adopting a legally binding instrument. It was stated that although it would be premature to adopt an international instrument at that stage, that was the ultimate goal, while attention was also drawn to the prime importance of taking measures at national, rather than international, level.
PRS/CLT/TPC/II/5; CPY.85/CONF.201/COL.7: English
- Solutions to the problems raised by the safeguarding of folklore as proposed by the Committee of Governmental Experts
PRS/CLT/TPC/II/4; CPY.85/CONF.201/COL.5: English
- Study of the possible range and scope of general regulations concerning the safeguarding of folklore
PRS/CLT/TPC/II/3; CPY.85/CONF.201/COL.1: English