The 8th Session of UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage has today started in Baku.
Chaired by Azerbaijani Minister of Culture and Tourism Abulfas Garayev, the session brings together more than 780 delegates from 116 countries.
Books, magazines and booklets on Azerbaijan`s culture, history, art and modern development have been presented to the event participants.
Opening the event Azerbaijani minister of culture and tourism Abulfas Garayev said that the session coincides with the 10th anniversary of the Convention for Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. The minister said that the convention was adopted at the 32nd session of UNESCO General Conference in 2003 and was ratified by 155 representatives of 195 countries.
The core functions of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage are to promote the objectives of the Convention, provide guidance on best practices and make recommendations on measures for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage. It further examines the nominations submitted by States Parties for the inscription of intangible cultural heritage elements on the Lists of the Convention (Urgent Safeguarding List and Representative List) as well as proposals for the Register of Best Safeguarding Practices. The Committee is also in charge of granting international assistance.
Baku has hosted the ICH NGO Forum on the sidelines of the 8th Session of
Intergovernmental Committee for Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The event has been held in JW Marriott Absheron hotel`s meeting room – Sharg Hall – in order to provide direct retransmission of all the debates via webcast. Interpretation in English, French, Arabic, Spanish and Azerbaijani was provided during the NGO Forum.
The Forum brought together more than 150 international non-governmental organizations, as well as representatives of public unities “Azerbaijani carpet-weavers” and “Music World”.
The discussions focused on the contribution of the accredited NGOs to the implementation of UNESCO 2003 Convention.
Addressing the event, Secretariat of UNESCO 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of ICH Helena Drobna noted the significance of the 8th Session of Intergovernmental Committee for Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage to be held in Baku on December 2-7.
Drobna said presently, 156 NGOs have been accredited by the General Assembly of States Parties to the UNESCO 2003 Convention.
Diego Gradis, representative of NGO Traditions pour Demain, spokesperson ICH NGO Forum, highlighted issues to be discussed at the 8th Session of Intergovernmental Committee. Gradis stressed the important role of NGOs for cultural mediation, awareness raising, representation and advocacy.
Jorijn Neyrinck, representative of NGO Tapis plein, spokesperson ICH NGO Forum, made a speech on “NGOs & the UNESCO 2003 Convention”.
The NGO Forum also featured four symposium presentations, including Investing in People to Safeguard ICH – Linking Culture & Development by Mrs Ananya Bhattacharya from India, Quebec Council for Intangible Heritage (worktitle) by Antoine Gauthier from Canada, UNESCO, internal oversight and evaluation of the 2003 convention for the safeguarding of Intangible cultural Heritage – perspectives of indigenous peoples of Africa and civil society organizations by Dr. Ani Casimir from Nigeria, and NGOs, the mediator of communication and information flaw between communities and the states; the case of ICCN by Mrs Sumi Nam from the Republic of Korea. The presentations were followed by discussions.
The ICH NGO Forum is the platform for communication, networking, exchange and cooperation for NGOs accredited by UNESCO to provide advisory services to the Intergovernmental Committee in the framework of the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.