14th UNESCO Intergovernmental General Assembly and Report of the Intangible cultural heritage (ICH) NGO Forum - Colombia | 02.01.2020


December 7, 2019, Saturday

Around 60 representatives from over 120 NGO’s participated in the Intangible Cultural Heritage Forum held at the Black Tower Hotel with the support of the Kingdom of Switzerland. After the opening of the program, NGOs were divided into two groups for two different workshops as those accredited to UNESCO for a long time and newly accredited ones. Traditional Art Association from Turkey took part with Canada, France, Colombia, Tajikistan and Belgium in the the second group and the group’s presidency was held by former member of the Board of Directors Jorijn Neyrinck.


First of all, Neyrinck, who made a presentation in the session where each NGO introduced itself, explained the NGO relations of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Forum and many basic concepts from capacity building of NGOs to cultural diversity. In the question and answer part, the representative of the Traditional Arts Association answered the UNESCO-NGO relations because of the received questions. After the study, both groups came together and evaluated what was spoken, experiences and program.

At the end of the day, NGOs in the field of Intangible Cultural Heritage operating in Colombia gave information about their work and association.

8 December 2019, Sunday

Albert Van Der Zaijden from the Netherlands chaired the first session of the second day of the program, which continues under the sponsorship of Singapore in the main hall of Agora Convention Center.

In the first presentation of the 1st session, Yeo Kirk Siang, the director of the National Heritage Board Institution from Singapore, who worked in the 2nd category UNESCO ICH, talked about the city life and the change of cultural structure in Singapore. In the second presentation, Juliana Forero Bordem shared information about Bogota city life.

In the second session chaired by Hanna Scheiber, the participants were divided into groups for the workshop by explaining how to do the workshop. Ahmet Akcan from the Traditional Arts Association was assigned as the reporter in the workshop where issues such as reforming UNESCO’s listing system, how to deal with the difficulties faced by NGOs, and problems of NGOs in the context of UNESCO, were discussed.

  • What is the current situation?
  • What is the problem here?
  • Why the problem can’t be solved?
  • What are the solution suggestions?

At the end of the workshop where answers were sought for the related questions above, the evaluation of the Traditional Arts Association was accepted as the most comprehensive evaluation and the group presentation was made by Ahmet Akcan and the group’s work and solution suggestions were presented.

Two officials from Singapore made a speech at the luncheon at the Hilton Hotel where traditional Singapore food was served.

Naile Ceribasic, the president of the ICH NGO Forum Steering Committee of Croatia was chaired in the afternoon of the Draft Regulations Workshop for Intangible Cultural Heritage Forum. Disputes arose in the negotiation where the draft regulations was discussed as article by article. The regulations was not approved in the work as we, the Traditional Arts Association contributed and was left for another session.


In the regulations study in which the duties and powers of the ICH Forum, relations with UNESCO and other NGOs, the financial structure of the ICH NGO Forum and the election procedures, duties and authorities of the ICH NGO Forum Steering Committee are determined, as a result of 3 meetings, the regulations were accepted by voting except the article of 21.

9 December 2019, Monday

After attending to the opening of UNESCO General Assembly in Bogota, with the help and support of Ece Öztürk the Turkish Ambassador of Colombian, a meeting was held between the Ministry of Culture of Colombia Carmen I. Marquez and the Traditional Arts Association. At the meeting, in which the Ambassador was also present, the works and information about Traditional Arts Association were explained, and the possible cooperations in the field of traditional arts was discussed. With the warm approach of the Minister of Culture, it was decided to act to cooperate in a short time.

Moreover, in the Traditional Arts Forum, held in Bogota Corferias, the capital of Colombia, and where a country is the guest of honor every year, it is discussed that Turkey could be the guest country for 2020. At this meeting, the inventory project of Traditional Arts Association named as “Masters of Turkey” book is presented as a gift to the Minister of Culture of Colombia. After the meeting, in accompany with Ambassador Ece Öztürk Çil and Undersecretary Sabih Can Kanadoğlu, Colombia Traditional Arts Fair is visited, the possible guest area for Turkey is examined and exchange opinions about the matters. As the Traditional Arts Association, a file is prepared and it is decided to present it to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and then to deliver the file to the Colombian Minister of Culture via the embassy.

10 December 2019, Tuesday

Representatives of 15 NGO participated in the last day of the ICH Forum activities. Before the program, where NGOs and government representatives from many countries had the opportunity to meet, the Traditional Arts Association held a meeting with NGOs from South Korea. Traditional Arts Association was invited to South Korea at the meeting, where it was decided to collaborate between the culture and art NGOs of the two countries.

11 December 2019, Wednesday

As a result of the ICH NGO Forum election session, the new board of directors was determined as follows:

African Region: Mr. Butholezwe Kgosi Nyathi

Arab Region: Ms. Reme Sakr

Asia and Pacific Region: Mr. Dong Hwan Choi

Eastern European Region: Mr. Kaloyan Nikolov

Latin America and Caribbean Region: Mr. Jorge Gustavo Caicedo

Western Europe and North America Region: Mrs. Meg Nömgard

International Representative: Mrs. Naila Ceribasic