The reflection process around the role of accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) was launched by the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage at its twelfth session in 2017. Based on its experience with five cycles of accreditation and two cycles of reviewing the accreditation status of NGOs, the Committee considered it necessary to take stock of the current situation and challenges as regards the participation of NGOs to act in an advisory capacity to the Committee (Decision 12.COM 17). Taking note of the ongoing reflection undertaken by the Secretariat and the informal ad hoc open-ended working group, in consultation with accredited NGOs, the General Assembly of States Parties requested that the Committee and the Secretariat present the updates on this reflection at the next session of the General Assembly in 2020 (Resolution 7.GA 11).

Electronic consultation (2018)

As an initial step in the reflection process, UNESCO organized an electronic consultation from September to October 2018 to gather ideas to define the future of accredited NGOs in the life of the 2003 Convention. In total, 38 States Parties and 68 accredited NGOs took part in this consultation, preliminary results of which were presented to the thirteenth session of the Committee in 2018. At this same session in 2018, the Committee decided to continue the reflection process in 2019 with the organization of a consultation meeting.

Consultation meeting (18 April 2019)

Taking into account the results of the electronic consultation carried out in 2018 and the debates of the Committee at its thirteenth session, a consultation meeting will continue the reflection with accredited NGOs, the ICH NGO Forum, the informal ad hoc working group and States Parties on the definition of the advisory functions to be fulfilled by accredited NGOs, as requested by the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage at its thirteenth session in 2018 (Decision 13.COM 13). This meeting will take place at UNESCO Headquarters (Fontenoy) on 18 April 2019.The outcomes of this consultation meeting will be presented to the fourteenth session of the Committee in Bogotá, Colombia, from 9 to 14 December 2019.

Working documents