20º aniversario 2003-2023


El año 2023 marca el vigésimo aniversario de la Convención para la Salvaguardia del Patrimonio Cultural Inmaterial, veinte años desde que la Convención fue adoptada, el 17 de octubre de 2003, durante la 32ª sesión de la Conferencia General de la UNESCO. Es la oportunidad para la UNESCO, los Estados Partes de la Convención y todas las partes interesadas involucradas en la salvaguardia del patrimonio vivo para resaltar que el patrimonio vivo pertenece a todos. Organizado bajo el lema Somos #PatrimonioVivo, el aniversario es también la ocasión para reflexionar sobre el papel de la Convención de 2003 en la sensibilización sobre la diversidad y riqueza del patrimonio cultural inmaterial y en el fomento de la cooperación internacional.

El patrimonio vivo se trata de personas, resiliencia y conocimientos que se transmiten de generación en generación. Por esta razón, el aniversario es también una invitación a gobiernos, ONG, universidades, portadores, practicantes y aquellos que aprecian el patrimonio vivo a organizar actividades, unirse a la campaña de redes sociales de la UNESCO (hashtag #LivingHeritage) y seguir los eventos del aniversario, en línea o en persona.

Eventos globales


  • Aprobación de la Convención

    Aprobación de la Convención

    The 32nd session of the General Conference of UNESCO adopts the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage on 17 October 2003. The new Convention expands the concept of cultural heritage to include intangible cultural heritage and highlights the importance of safeguarding it at the international level.

  • Entrada en vigor

    Entrada en vigor

    The Convention enters into force on 20 April 2006, three months after the ratification of the thirtieth State. The first session of the General Assembly takes place in June to elect the Intergovernmental Committee.

  • Directrices para su aplicación

    Directrices para su aplicación

    On 19 June 2008, the General Assembly approves the first version of the Operational Directives for the Implementation of the Convention, which define, among others, the modalities for inscription on the Lists and the Register, financial assistance and periodic reporting.

  • Incorporation of masterpieces

    Incorporation of masterpieces

    The 90 Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity (proclaimed between 2001 and 2005) are incorporated in the Representative List of the Convention, in accordance with Article 31 of the Convention.

  • International Assistance

    International Assistance

    The International Assistance mechanism is created. Over the years, its accessibility is improved by allowing requests up to US$ 100,000 to be made at any time and creating a dedicated team within the Secretariat. Access the International Assistance Toolkit here.

    Key achievements:

    • 60 countries granted International Assistance
    • +100 projects funded
    • +US$ 10 million granted
  • Creation of Lists and Register

    Creation of Lists and Register

    The international listing system of the Convention becomes operational with three mechanisms:

    • The Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (or the Representative List)
    • The List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding (or the Urgent Safeguarding List)
    • The Register of programmes, projects and activities that best reflect the principles and objectives of the Convention (commonly known as the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices)
  • First inscriptions

    First inscriptions

    In October 2009, the Committee proceeds with the first set of inscriptions on the Representative List, the Urgent Safeguarding List, and the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices. Browse the Lists and Register here.
    Key achievements:

    • 568 elements from 136 countries inscribed on the Representative List
    • 76 elements from 40 countries inscribed on the Urgent Safeguarding List
    • 33 programmes, projects and activities from 31 countries selected for inclusion in the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices
    • 677 elements from 140 countries inscribed in total
  • Global capacity building programme

    Global capacity building programme

    The global capacity building programme for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage is established.
    Key achievements:

    • +138 countries benefit
    • +60 thematic training units established
    • +330 capacity-building workshops conducted
  • First periodic reports

    First periodic reports

    The States Parties submit the first periodic reports, which highlight the challenges of safeguarding at the national level and the importance of strengthening the capacity of stakeholders to establish effective safeguarding frameworks.

  • Facilitators network

    Facilitators network

    The Global Network of Facilitators is established to support countries with the implementation of the Convention. In 2022, the network is expanded to train and integrate a new generation of facilitators into the capacity-building programme.
    Key achievements:

    • 238 total members integrated
  • ICH NGO Forum

    ICH NGO Forum

    The Intangible Cultural Heritage NGO Forum is established to provide a platform for communication, networking, exchange and cooperation for NGOs accredited under the Convention. The forum organizes meetings and symposia on shared international challenges in the safeguarding policies and practices of intangible cultural heritage.

  • Tenth anniversary of the Convention

    Tenth anniversary of the Convention

    The intangible heritage family continues to grow and includes about 150 States Parties to the Convention, 156 accredited NGOs in the field of intangible heritage and 77 trainers supporting UNESCO’s global capacity-building strategy.

  • Ethical principles

    Ethical principles

    The Intergovernmental Committee endorses twelve ethical principles for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage at its tenth session in Windhoek, Namibia, from 30 November to 4 December 2015.

  • Evaluation Body

    Evaluation Body

    The Committee establishes a consultative body (the ‘Evaluation Body’) to evaluate the nominations to the Lists, the proposals for the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices and certain types of International Assistance requests. This Body replaces earlier bodies that had performed evaluation functions for the Intergovernmental Committee in the past. Its elected members include six accredited NGOs in addition to six experts representing States Parties non-members of the Committee.

  • Strengthening partnerships

    Strengthening partnerships

    The reach of the Convention continues to expand thanks to strengthening partnerships with category 2 centres (C2C), NGOs and universities.
    Partnerships include:

    • 217 accredited NGOs
    • 8 C2Cs
    • 14 UNESCO Chairs
    • 2 UNITWIN (‘University twinning and networking’) Networks
  • Living heritage and sustainable development

    Living heritage and sustainable development

    A new chapter on ‘Safeguarding intangible cultural heritage and sustainable development at the national level’ is approved for the Operational Directives for the Implementation of the Convention. It includes:

    • Inclusive social development
    • Inclusive economic development
    • Environmental sustainability
    • Intangible cultural heritage and peace
  • Living heritage and education

    Living heritage and education

    An intersectoral initiative on the safeguarding of living heritage in formal and non-formal education is launched, promoting a broader approach to safeguarding with the potential to reach communities while helping States meet their commitments under Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4). Intangible cultural heritage in education becomes one of the Convention’s two priorities.
    Key achievements:

    • +80 countries participate
    • Increased awareness and appreciation of living heritage and cultural diversity
  • Dive into intangible cultural heritage!

    Dive into intangible cultural heritage!

    The interactive online platform ‘Dive into Intangible Cultural Heritage!’ is launched, proposing a new way of visualizing the multi-faceted nature of intangible cultural heritage and exploring how different elements inscribed on UNESCO’s Lists and Register connect across domains, themes, natural environments and ecosystems.

  • Overall Results Framework

    Overall Results Framework

    At its seventh session, the General Assembly of States Parties to the Convention approves the Overall Results Framework. The framework identifies long-term, mid-term and short-term outcomes, as well as eight thematic areas, with twenty-six core indicators and eighty-six assessment factors. For an effective monitoring of the implementation of the Convention, the periodic reporting mechanism is aligned with the Overall Results Framework.

  • A reformed periodic reporting mechanism

    A reformed periodic reporting mechanism

    The General Assembly approves the amendments to the Operational Directives on periodic reporting and the status of elements inscribed on the Representative List. The amendments support a transition towards a regional cycle of reporting on the implementation of the Convention, based on a participatory and multi-stakeholder approach. They also facilitate the systematic analysis of safeguarding data at regional and global levels.
    Key achievements:

    • +80% submission rates
    • Increased policy debates
  • Global reflection on the listing mechanisms of the 2003 Convention

    Global reflection on the listing mechanisms of the 2003 Convention

    An open-ended intergovernmental working group is created to reflect on the intent and purpose of the listing mechanisms and to seek solutions to a series of wide-ranging and interrelated issues identified through a decade of implementation. The working group adopts a set of recommendations for the Intergovernmental Committee. The Committee endorses the recommendations, which leads to the revision of the Operational Directives by the ninth session of the General Assembly in July 2022. Learn more about the global reflection and its outcomes.

  • Research resources

    Research resources

    Based on work initiated in 2012, an online 2003 Convention Research Bibliography is developed with the support of the research community. More than 1000 research references related to the Convention are identified. Efforts to update and index this interactive bibliography are ongoing. Consult the bibliography.

  • COVID-19 impact

    COVID-19 impact

    In April 2020, UNESCO launches an online survey to grasp the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic around the world. It receives more than 200 testimonies from 78 countries. The Living Heritage in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic report summarizes the results of the survey and the challenges and opportunities for living heritage during this crisis.

  • Multimodal and thematic capacity building

    Multimodal and thematic capacity building

    The capacity building programme is reoriented to a multimodal format (online and in person) and an extended thematic approach. Next to long-standing areas such as education, gender equality, priority Africa, emergency situations, indigenous peoples and sustainable development, three thematic areas for action are identified:

    • The economic dimension of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage
    • Safeguarding intangible cultural heritage and climate change
    • Safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in urban contexts
  • Participation of NGOs

    Participation of NGOs

    The Committee discusses the report of the ICH NGO Forum on the participation of NGOs in the implementation of the Convention. From 2021 to 2022, the ICH NGO Forum leads the first round of a mapping exercise of the domains of competence of accredited NGOs.

  • Safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in emergencies

    Safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in emergencies

    Following an expert meeting held in May 2019, the Operational Principles for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage in Emergencies are adopted by the eighth session of the General Assembly. This framework document affirms the dual nature of intangible cultural heritage in the context of emergencies: on the one hand, intangible cultural heritage can be directly threatened by emergencies, and on the other hand, it can effectively help communities to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies. Read more about the principles.

  • Inventorying Intangible Cultural Heritage

    Inventorying Intangible Cultural Heritage

    A Guidance Note on Inventorying Intangible Cultural Heritage is developed to inspire States Parties when developing or revising inventories of intangible cultural heritage. Read the Guidance Note here.

  • MOOC on living heritage and sustainable development

    MOOC on living heritage and sustainable development

    UNESCO launches its first MOOC on living heritage and sustainable development. The six-week course is self-paced, free and available in English, French and Spanish. Enrol here.

  • New Operational Directives

    New Operational Directives

    The 2022 Edition of the Basic Texts, containing the Operational Directives as amended by the General Assembly, is published. It includes new and improved procedures to make the Lists and Register of the Convention more dynamic and interconnected. The updates are direct results of the Global reflection on the listing mechanisms (2018–2022) as requested by the governing bodies of the Convention. Nomination forms are also either simplified, revised or newly established to reflect the changes. Learn more about the changes here.

  • Community voices

    Community voices

    The global reflection on the listing mechanisms (2018–2022) gives rise to a new initiative to reflect on a broader implementation of Article 18 of the Convention. The reflection considers how to share good safeguarding practices more broadly and how to amplify the voices of communities and their aspirations for safeguarding their living heritage.

  • 20th anniversary of the Convention

    20th anniversary of the Convention

    Ratified by 181 countries, the Convention has attained a near universal reach. The 20th anniversary is an important occasion to stake stock of the Convention’s achievements and to reflect on the directions it can take in the coming decades to foster international cooperation and increased awareness of the significance of living heritage.

Colaboradores del aniversario