Traditional games, songs and know-how on the agenda for the Intangible Heritage Committee

29 November 2017

The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage will meet from 4 to 9 December on Jeju Island (Republic of Korea) and will be chaired by H.E. Mr Byong-hyun Lee, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of the Republic of Korea to UNESCO.

The Committee, made up of the representatives of 24 States Parties to the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003), meets once a year. It ensures the implementation of this legal instrument, which has been ratified by 175 States who have integrated the safeguarding of intangible heritage into their national legislation. In its 14 years of existence, the Convention has led 140 safeguarding living heritage projects in 107 countries.

During this session, the Committee will discuss topics including intangible cultural heritage situations of emergency, the impact of the Convention and the use of resources from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund. The Committee will also decide upon six requests for inscription on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, as well as 34 requests for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. In addition, three projects have been proposed for the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices, which seeks to highlight the projects, programmes and activities which best reflect the objectives of the 2003 Convention.

The List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding features elements of living heritage whose viability is considered under threat. There are currently 47 elements inscribed on this List, which allows State Parties to the Convention to mobilize the necessary international cooperation and assistance to strengthen the transmission of these cultural practices, in agreement with the concerned communities.

There are currently 365 elements inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. It seeks to enhance visibility for the traditions and know-how of communities without recognizing standards of excellence or exclusivity.

The nominations from Central Asia for 2017 for the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity are:
• Kazakhstan - Kazakh traditional Assyk games
• Kyrgyzstan - Kok boru, traditional horse game
• Tajikistan – Falak (traditional songs)

The Register of Good Safeguarding Practices currently includes 17 projects. And for the first time ever, it was proposed from Central Asia to submit the best practice of the Uzbekistan “Margilan Crafts Development Centre” for safeguarding of the atlas and adras making traditional technologies.

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