Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 12.COM 11

The Committee,

  1. Recalling Chapter I of the Operational Directives,
  2. Having examined documents ITH/17/12.COM/11, ITH/17/12.COM/11.a Rev., ITH/17/12.COM/11.b+Add., ITH/17/12.COM/11.c, ITH/17/12.COM/11.d+Add. and ITH/17/12.COM/11.e+Add.2, as well as the files submitted by the respective States Parties,
  3. Expresses its satisfaction with the work of the Evaluation Body, thanks its members for their efforts and the quality of the present report and appreciates the assistance of the Secretariat to facilitate the work of the Evaluation Body;
  4. Takes note with appreciation of the observations made by the Evaluation Body in the course of its work for the 2017 cycle;
  5. Recalls Decisions 10.COM 10 and 11.COM 10 and notes that many of the issues raised in these decisions are still relevant to the 2017 cycle;
  6. Reiterates the need to elaborate nominations, including the titles of nominations, with utmost care in order to avoid inappropriate expressions or vocabulary that are not in line with the Convention and all norms and principles of international law;
  7. Appreciates the benefits brought by the referral option as several nomination files that had been referred in previous cycles have been inscribed on the Lists of the Convention in this 2017 cycle;
  8. Takes note of the dual system of draft decisions proposed by the Evaluation Body for nine nominations and underlines that this system was used on an exceptional basis as nominations for the 2017 cycle did not benefit from the nomination forms using a revised format for section 5 that have been introduced for the 2018 cycle;
  9. Reminds States Parties that inscriptions on the lists do not seek to establish a system of ownership such as through geographical indication, intellectual property, professional certifications or licenses, and that the inscription of an element on one of the Lists of the Convention does not imply exclusive ownership of a cultural expression;
  10. Recalls decisions 5.COM 6, 6.COM 8, 7.COM 14, 8.COM 8, 9.COM 10, 10.COM 10 and 11.COM 10, expresses its appreciation for the submission of multinational nominations, and encourages States Parties to submit multinational nominations of intangible cultural heritage shared by communities in the territory of more than one State Party and to submit inclusion requests for already inscribed elements;
  11. Recalls that certain elements are shared across different countries and are not restricted to one specific country or specific groups and calls the attention of the submitting State Parties to Section D in the forms;
  12. Recommends that the Evaluation Body indicates, based on the information provided in the nomination file, in paragraph 1 of its draft decisions the sharing of certain elements that are found on the territory of more than one State Party;
  13. Further reminds States Parties that more attention should be paid to the possible negative impacts of commercialization and the need to avoid any danger of decontextualization of the element as a result of increased tourism;
  14. Further takes note of the recurring challenges encountered by the Evaluation Body in evaluating criterion R.2 and acknowledges the need to undertake a broader reflection on this aspect and also on the purpose of the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, in light of the lessons learnt from the first evaluation of the transfer of an element from one List to another;
  15. Also takes note of the initial observations from the Evaluation Body concerning the transfer of an element from one List to another, the issues raised by this transfer mechanism concerning the purposes and links between the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices and the recommendation from the Evaluation Body to establish an appropriate procedure for this transfer mechanism;
  16. Welcomes the increasing scope of safeguarding projects for which International Assistance is sought and underlines the importance of setting up efficient mechanisms to monitor and evaluate the results, challenges and lessons learnt of these projects;
  17. Encourages further efforts to promote synergies between the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and the 1972 Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, as well as other relevant UNESCO conventions and programmes;
  18. Commends the four States Parties that submitted proposals to the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices and encourages States Parties to continue submitting effective examples of good practices in the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage;
  19. Acknowledges the need to reflect openly upon the applicability of criterion P.9 for the evaluation of proposals to the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices as currently defined in the Operational Directives.