UNESCO Headquarters, Paris - Attended by 600 participants hailing from 129 countries, the seventh session of the General Assembly of the States Parties to the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage took place from 4 to 6 June 2018 to provide the States Parties an opportunity to discuss critical issues for the safeguarding of living heritage worldwide. An important outcome was the adoption of an overall results framework to better monitor the implementation of the Convention at various levels and a correlated revision of the periodic reporting cycle, to move from a ratification date based 6-year cycle to a regional 6 year cycle. The concrete support for the operationalization of the International Assistance mechanism under the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund was another key order of business. Furthermore, twenty-nine new NGOs were accredited during the session to act in an advisory capacity to the Committee. On the last day of the General Assembly, twelve new members of the Intergovernmental Committee of the Convention were elected: Azerbaijan, Cameroon, China, Djibouti, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Netherlands, Poland, Sri Lanka and Togo.
In the margin of the main meeting, a series of side-events were organized under the theme ‘Tell your living heritage story’, providing unique opportunities for General Assembly attendees to engage with different actors involved in intangible cultural heritage safeguarding—the States, NGOs, youth and community members. The programme included a dialogue session with professionals and community practitioners sharing inspiring personal experiences of International Assistance funded safeguarding projects, an animated roundtable discussion on Intangible Cultural Heritage and Education, as well as a dynamic audio-visual youth exhibition with accompanying social media campaign and a lively NGO networking zone.