Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 12.COM 15

The Committee,

  1. Having examined document ITH/17/12.COM/15,
  2. Recalling Article 11 of the Convention, Chapters VI.3 and VI.4 of the Operational Directives, as well as the fifth point of the Ethical Principles for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage, along with Resolution 2347 of the United Nations Security Council (2017) and Resolution 38C/48 of the General Conference on the reinforcement of UNESCO’s action for the protection of culture and the promotion of cultural pluralism in the event of armed conflict and all relevant resolutions and decisions,
  3. Further recalling Resolution 39C/57 of the General Conference (2017) endorsing Decision 202 EX/5.I.H of the Executive Board,
  4. Expresses its deepest solidarity with all peoples affected by emergency situations, including, inter alia, armed conflicts and disasters caused by natural and human-induced hazards, and commends the inestimable commitment of communities, groups and individuals to safeguarding their intangible cultural heritage and ensuring its continued practice despite the challenges presented by such situations;
  5. Encourages States Parties to ensure that communities, groups and individuals, including displaced persons, have access, to the extent possible, to the instruments, objects, artefacts, cultural and natural spaces and places of memory whose existence is necessary for expressing their intangible cultural heritage;
  6. Takes note of the findings resulting from the activities carried out and encourages the Secretariat to pursue its endeavours in this regard including by exploring linkages and cooperation with relevant UN and international bodies;
  7. Welcomes community-based needs identifications as the initial operational modality of the Convention in emergency situations, with a view to safeguarding intangible cultural heritage and mobilizing it as a tool for resilience and recovery, and requests that the Secretariat continue piloting this activity as the primary intervention to respond to emergency situations, in case of armed conflict and disasters caused by natural and human-induced hazards, in the framework of the 2003 Convention as well as exploring and informing on further methodological approaches;
  8. Acknowledges the contribution of intangible cultural heritage to disaster risk management strategies and, conversely, the importance of disaster risk management strategies for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage, and underlines the need to foster the links between them;
  9. Invites States Parties to therefore take into consideration threats related to disasters caused by natural and human-induced hazards when assessing the viability of intangible cultural heritage, as well as to take into account the disaster risk management perspective in safeguarding measures and plans, where appropriate, and requests that the Secretariat consider integrating disaster risk management into the guidance note for inventorying intangible cultural heritage and related capacity-building training materials;
  10. Also encourages the Secretariat to pursue its cooperation with the Education Sector in order to harness the potential of intangible cultural heritage for the prevention of violent extremism;
  11. Further encourages the Secretariat to pursue cooperation with other institutions with expertise in the field of risk management in the cultural sector;
  12. Further invites States Parties to request emergency International Assistance, as they deem appropriate, and to make use of the technical assistance mechanism with the support of the Secretariat, with a view to finalizing their requests in line with the principles of the Convention;
  13. Requests that the Secretariat report to it on this issue at its next session in 2018.