Global reflection on listing mechanisms: documents of the 8-9 July session of the intergovernmental working group are available online!

  • 28 June 2021
In the island found in lake Zeway, the tabot (replicas of the Ark of the Covenant) of the parish chruch is accompanied with boats.
In the island found in lake Zeway, the tabot (replicas of the Ark of the Covenant) of the parish chruch is accompanied with boats.
© Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage (ARCCH), Ethiopia, 2018

In December 2019, after a decade of implementation of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, the Intergovernmental Committee launched a global reflection process on the 2003 Convention’s listing mechanisms. This was to address a series of complex and interrelated issues that the various stakeholders to the convention had faced in relation to the listing mechanisms. The first step of the process included the introduction of a ‘dialogue mechanism’ during the evaluation of files, which was adopted by the General Assembly in September 2020.
A broad online survey was launched in March and April this year, and throughout May 2021, 35 experts met online (category VI expert meeting) to discuss a wide range of aspects on listing mechanisms, such as the criteria of inscription, the evaluation of files and the follow-up of inscribed elements, in order to set the ground for the for the upcoming intergovernmental discussions.

Given the ongoing restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting will take place fully online on 8 and 9 July 2021 (Part I), and on 9 and 10 September 2021 (Part II) via Zoom. For Part I, there will be four sessions of 90 minutes each (UTC+2 / Paris time): the morning sessions will be held from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and the afternoon sessions will be held from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. and 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.

Because of the complexities of the issues discussed, and the potential long-term impact on the Convention, it was decided to split the Open-ended intergovernmental working group meeting into two sessions:

  • Part I (online, a two day meeting on 8 and 9 July 2021): the working group will discuss the recommendations of the Category VI meeting in order to decide on a general direction to take for the reform of the listing system of the Convention
  • Part II (online, a two day meeting on 9 and 10 September 2021): on the basis of Part I of the meeting, the working group will agree to recommend specific changes to be made in line with the general direction chosen in Part I, and draft a report to the sixteenth session of the Committee

The sixteenth session of the Committee, which is due to take place in Colombo, Sri Lanka, from 13 to 18 December 2021, will provide an opportunity for further intergovernmental discussions on this matter and on proposals with relevant revisions to the Operational Directives for possible adoption by the General Assembly in June/July 2022.


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  • Agenda and Timetable : English|French (LHE/21/16.COM WG/1)
  • Progress to date and meeting objectives : English|French (LHE/21/16.COM WG/2)
  • Towards a reformed listing system : English|French (LHE/21/16.COM WG/3)
  • Report of the experts meeting (Category VI): English|French (LHE/21/EXP/7)