Overview of 13th session of the IGC for the Safeguarding of ICH

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The thirteenth session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (13.COM) will take place at the Swami Vivekananda International Convention Centre in Port Louis, Republic of Mauritius, from 26 November to 1 December 2018. During the session, fifty files will be examined—seven nominations to the Urgent Safeguarding List, forty nominations to the Representative List, four proposals to the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices, and one request for International Assistance.

On 26 November, the agenda of 13.COM will be adopted, followed by the Secretariat’s report on its activities on the first half of 2018. The Committee will review the voluntary supplementary contributions made to Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund, and examine the States Party’s reports on the implementation of the Convention as well as the current status of elements inscribed on the Representative List and Urgent Safeguarding List. On 27 November, a report is scheduled for the use of International Assistance from the Fund. Most notably, the Committee will decide on the specific order of six-year calendar for new periodic reporting system starting from 2020, be it among the regions or the Electoral Groups. It is worth noting that the both options in discussion suggest that the Asia-Pacific countries submit their first periodic reports in 2024 under the new mechanism.

From 28 to 29 November, the Committee will review the nominations and decide upon their inscription on the Urgent Safeguarding List, the Representative List, and the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices. On 30 November, further discussions will be made on the various ways to safeguard ICH in emergencies and their implications on the resilience and recovery of displaced communities. The Committee will also discuss imposing a limit on the total amount of International Assistance up to US$100,000 that can be requested by a single country for each session, considering the recent drastic increase in such requests. Other agenda items include how to strengthen the participation of the accredited NGOs and reflect this in NGO accreditation/renewal mechanisms. On 1 December, the Committee will review reports from informal ad hoc open-ended working group on crucial issues, including the ones related to the dialogue between the Evaluation Body and the submitting States. The venue and date of the fourteenth session are announced before closure on the same day.

A variety of events will take place on the sidelines of 13.COM. On 25 November, the ICH NGO Forum will be held to discuss the roles of accredited NGOs in implementing the 2003 Convention. The detailed information is available at http://www.ichngoforum.org/ich-ngo-forum-symposium-role-ngos-implementing-2003-unesco-convention. Other events scheduled from 26 November to 1 December include: a press conference, a roundtable discussion on how global facilitator network can support the Member States in implementing the 2003 Convention, an information session on tertiary education networking, and an information session on ICH safeguarding in formal and non-formal education. For further details about the 13.COM program, visit https://ich.unesco.org/en/calendar-of-events-01026.