From 4 to 5 July 2023, the Open-ended intergovernmental working group in the framework of the reflection on a broader implementation of Article 18 of the 2003 Convention gathered at UNESCO Headquarters to explore how to fully encourage the sharing of safeguarding experiences more broadly. This includes the further operationalization of the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices as well as the possibility of establishing an online ‘platform’ for sharing safeguarding experiences by communities around the world and other stakeholders of the Convention. The reflection process was generously supported by Sweden.
Chaired by Mr Martin Sundin, Director-General of the Institute for Language and Folklore (Sweden), the meeting was attended by 313 participants from all regions, including representatives from 98 States Parties and 50 accredited non-governmental organizations. Following two days of discussions, the working group adopted a series of recommendations that lay the ground for further intergovernmental discussions at the eighteenth session of the Intergovernmental Committee (4 to 9 December 2023, Kasane, Republic of Botswana).
Further information on the working group and recommendations to the Committee are available on the dedicated webpage:
2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage
Article 18 – Programmes, projects and activities for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage
1. On the basis of proposals submitted by States Parties, and in accordance with criteria to be defined by the Committee and approved by the General Assembly, the Committee shall periodically select and promote national, subregional and regional programmes, projects and activities for the safeguarding of the heritage which it considers best reflect the principles and objectives of this Convention, taking into account the special needs of developing countries.
2. To this end, it shall receive, examine and approve requests for international assistance from States Parties for the preparation of such proposals.
3. The Committee shall accompany the implementation of such projects, programmes and activities by disseminating best practices using means to be determined by it.
A meeting of experts took place from 19 to 21 April 2023 (Stockholm, Sweden), as one of the first steps within the framework of the reflection on a broader implementation of Article 18 of the 2003 Convention.
Twenty-one experts from all regions in the world came together to reflect on the following topics, as established by the seventeenth session of the Committee (Decision 17.COM 10):
- Topic 1: Improving the access to and increasing the visibility of the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices
- Topic 2: Towards the creation of an ‘observatory’ for sharing good safeguarding practices
- Topic 3: Any other issues to be identified
As a concrete result of the meeting, the experts adopted a set of recommendations to the Open-ended intergovernmental working group (4 to 6 July 2023, UNESCO Headquarters), which was entrusted by the Committee of the 2003 Convention to explore new ways to more broadly share safeguarding experiences and to bring to the fore the voices of communities and their aspirations for safeguarding their living heritage.