UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

11/23/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/23/2023 13:40

UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage: The 18th session of the Intergovernmental Committee

Press release

UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage: The 18th session of the Intergovernmental Committee

The Intangible Cultural Heritage Committee will hold its 18th session in early December in Kasane, Botswana. The Committee will examine the nominations for inscription of 55 cultural practices submitted by 72 State Parties. The event will also mark the 20th anniversary of the UNESCO Convention, which has considerably strengthened the world's legal arsenal for the protection of culture.
© Ishmael Ogaufi Otlaadisa and Veekuhane, Botswana
23 November 2023
  • What? The 18th session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

  • When? From 4 to 9 December 2023

  • Where? In Kasane, Republic of Botswana (and webcast live)

  • Accreditation: Register to attend in-person here

At the session, the 24 State Members of the Committee - representing the 181 State Parties - will examine 55 nominations for inscription on the Lists of the Convention. This total includes 45 nominations for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, 6 nominations for inscription on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, and 4 proposals for addition to the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices.

The Committee will also decide on 2 requests for international financial assistance submitted by Zimbabwe and Paraguay, and will examine a series of reports on the state of previously inscribed practices.

Accreditation and announcement of registrations

Journalists wishing to cover the 18th session can obtain accreditation at this link.

The Committee's working documents are available at this link.

A live press conference will be held at the opening of the 18th session, on Monday 4 December at 12.45pm (local time), at the Cresta Mowana Resort.

As the work progresses, new entries will also be published on the @unesco and @unesco_fr accounts on the X social network (formerly Twitter). The Committee meeting will also be webcast live on the Committee's web page.

The Convention celebrates its 20th anniversary

The 2023 Committee session also marks the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage's 20th anniversary. The anniversary is an opportunity to look back on, and celebrate the immense progress the Convention has made since its adoption in 2003. Now counting 181 State Parties, UNESCO's international standard-setting framework has been ratified at an exceptionally fast rate in the last decade.

The adoption of this UNESCO Convention has marked a turning point in international cultural law, extending the notion of heritage - previously defined as physical sites and monuments - to incorporate "living heritage" which includes the ancestral practices, knowledge, crafts and skills of communities. The Convention firmly integrated into the cultural, educational and economic policies of a large number of States.

The Convention has also helped to boost recognition of the crucial role local communities and indigenous peoples play in preserving and transmitting living heritage, and has supported several states in building laws, policies and specialized institutions in order to catalogue and protect it.

About the Convention's Lists

Intangible cultural heritage includes oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals and festive events, knowledge, practices and skills relating to nature, the universe and craftsmanship.

The Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity recognizes and promotes the diversity of cultural practices and know-how held by communities. To date, 567 practices have been inscribed by 136 countries and 5 geographical regions. Listing encourages all stakeholders to implement safeguarding measures in close collaboration with practitioners.

The List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding also identifies living heritage practices whose survival is threatened, enabling the State Parties to the Convention to mobilize the international cooperation and assistance needed to save them. It currently lists 76 practices.

And The Register of Good Safeguarding Practices highlights 33 programmes, projects and activities that best reflect the principles and objectives of the Convention.

Press contacts

Press officer

Phone: +33145682293

Iglesias Kuntz
Spanish editor

Phone: +33145681702


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