A capacity building workshop on the implementation of the 2003 Convention was successfully organized in Port Moresby from 14-18 May 2012 by the UNESCO Apia Office in partnership with the National Cultural Commission of Papua New Guinea. Facilitated by Ms Noriko Aikawa-Faure and Mr Setoki Qalubao the five-day workshop was attended by forty-three representatives from concerned national government agencies, provincial government units, academic institutions and key stakeholders. Honorable Benjamin Philip, the Minister for Culture and Tourism welcomed the participants during the opening ceremony on 15 May 2012.
Papua New Guinea, a State Party to the 2003 Convention, is one of the most culturally diverse countries on Earth, with some 850 indigenous languages spoken by different cultural groups having their own sets of cultural expressions in a country with a population of 6 million. To assist in mitigating the negative impact of globalization and social transformations that endanger its rich intangible cultural heritage, Papua New Guinea was selected as one of the eight beneficiary countries under the regional capacity building programme in safeguarding intangible cultural heritage under the UNESCO-Japanese Funds-In-Trust Cooperation.
The next capacity building workshop on the inventory of ICH elements will be held in October 2012 in Goroka, Papua New Guinea which hosts the famous Sing-Sing Festival, a tribal gathering and cultural event held every two years.