Functions of the Committee

The core functions of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage are to promote the objectives of the Convention, provide guidance on best practices and make recommendations on measures for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage.
The Committee examines requests submitted by States Parties for the inscription of intangible heritage on the Lists as well as proposals for programmes and projects. The Committee is also in charge of granting international assistance.
The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage prepares the implementation of the Convention, mainly through the elaboration of a set of operational directives and of a plan for the use of the resources of the Fund for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, established by Article 25 of the Convention. It submits these documents for approval to the General Assembly.

Composition of the Committee

The Members of the Intergovernmental Committee are elected by the States Parties meeting in General Assembly according to the principles of equitable geographical representation and rotation. According to Article 6.7 of the Convention, States Members of the Committee shall choose as their representatives persons who are qualified in the various fields of the intangible cultural heritage.
Based on the principle of equitable geographical representation foreseen by the Convention in Article 6.1, the General Assembly decided in June 2006 that the seats in the Committee would be distributed among the six UNESCO electoral groups in proportion to the number of States Parties from each group, it being understood that in a Committee of 24 members, each group will occupy at least three seats.

Terms of office

States Members to the Committee are elected for a term of four years, and every two years, the General Assembly shall renew half of them. A State Member of the Committee may not be elected for two consecutive terms.