Physical distancing in Japan: to avoid the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), two people stand apart holding two umbrellas. Satte, Japan
© Picturesque Japan - Shutterstock
4 September 2020

The eighth session of the General Assembly will start on 8 September under very particular conditions imposed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

With all appropriate sanitary measures in place, as mentioned below, the 178 States Parties to the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage will come together after strenuous lockdown measures. Many issues vital to the Convention are to be discussed. Beyond the usual discussions such as revisions of the Operational Directives, elections to the Committee or management of the ICH Fund, the States Parties will be invited to reflect on the listing mechanisms of the Convention and the very timely topic of intangible cultural heritage in emergencies. A virtual ResiliArt debate will also take place on 9 September, during lunch, to allow communities from Italy, Mali, Palestine, Peru and Sri Lanka to speak about their living heritage in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the meeting, participants will be asked to respect strict sanitary measures, including wearing a mask at all times, maintain physical distance and following strict circulation measures. To allow all stakeholders of the Convention to follow the debates in spite of travel restrictions, the UNESCO Secretariat has made efforts to webcast the proceedings, and, for the first time, the General Assembly of the 2003 Convention will be fully videocast, in all 6 languages of the UN.

As the sanitary situation continues to evolve, the Secretariat will publish any further changes to these measures on the website of the Convention.


Related themes

  • 2003 Convention: General Assembly and Committee

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