Intangible cultural heritage is often shared by communities, groups and individuals on the territories of more than one State. The preparation of multinational nominations of such shared heritage and the joint safeguarding of and reporting about multinational elements inscribed on the Lists under the 2003 Convention constitute important mechanisms for promoting international cooperation.

The Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, Denmark organizes rowing training for schoolchildren Read more on the element
© The Viking Ship Museum, Werner Karrash, 2019

As of today, 85 out of 730 living heritage elements (corresponding to 103 countries) inscribed on the Lists of the 2003 Convention result from multinational nominations. The growing number of multinational inscriptions demonstrates the increasing interest amongst States Parties in addressing shared intangible cultural heritage, as well as their increased capacity in coordinating safeguarding efforts across borders.

At the same time, the preparation of multinational nominations is a complex process. Some of the issues that may require attention and that have been identified so far, relate to a) the initiation of the nomination processes involving several States, b) the identification and definition of elements of shared living heritage for the purpose of multinational nominations, c) the identification and fullest possible participation of communities through different steps and across borders, d) effectiveness of joint safeguarding measures for the shared elements; in recent years, e) the recent increase of multinational nominations, including extension requests.

In December 2022, the Committee of the 2003 Convention at its seventeenth session requested that the Secretariat prepare a guidance note for the preparation of multinational nominations in order to improve their quality, taking into account the global reflection on the listing mechanisms (Decision 17.COM 7). This initiative would naturally address related aspects including sharing of good safeguarding experiences concerning inscribed multinational elements and of good cooperating experiences during the preparation of nominations.

In order to discuss issues related to the multinational nomination and safeguarding of multinational elements under the 2003 Convention, an online stakeholders’ meeting is convened on 4 July 2024, from 2.30 to 5.30 p.m. (Paris time).

The participants of the meeting will discuss the following main topics:

  • Benefits and challenges of multinational nominations: ‘what-to-do and what-not-to-do’ when preparing multinational nominations
  • How to promote and highlight the international cooperation in the safeguarding and promotion of multinational elements
  • Good experiences of community-centred safeguarding of multinational elements

The meeting is primarily for designated contact persons of multinational elements inscribed on the Lists of the Convention, it is also open to the Permanent Delegations and National Commissions of countries concerned as observers.

Following the stakeholders’ meeting, additional consultations may take place. A draft guidance note might then be presented for examination by the nineteenth session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, which will take place in Asuncion, Paraguay, from 2 to 7 December 2024.

The working documents for the meeting are:


  • Agenda and timetable: English|French (document LHE/24/Meeting MULTI/1 Rev.)
  • List of participants: English/French(document LHE/24/Meeting MULTI/2)