Under the terms of resolution 5/03 adopted by the General Conference at its twenty-first session, the Director-General was invited to prepare a preliminary study on the technical and legal aspects of the safeguarding of folklore with a view to the possible regulation of the matter on en international basis.
The Work Plan relating to that resolution envisaged the following procedure: ‘Two committees of governmental experts (category II) will be convened. The first will be held at Headquarters in 1981, with a view to defining measures to safeguard the existence, development and authenticity of folklore and traditional popular culture and to protect them against the risk of distortion; the second, preceded by a committee meeting (category VI), will be organized jointly with WIPO in 1982 and will be responsible for drawing up proposals for regulating the ‘intellectual property’ aspects of the protection of folklore and traditional popular culture. Three working groups will be convened jointly with WIPO in 1981, 1982 and 1983, in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia and the Pacific respectively, to seek means of applying such regulations at the regional level, taking account of the characteristics of this cultural heritage in each region as factors in identifying an ethnic group or a national community. In the light of the findings of the 1981 and 1982 committees of governmental experts, and in pursuance of 21 C/Resolution 5/03, a preliminary study will be made for submission to the Executive Board in 1983, and possibly to the General Conference at its twenty-second session, to enable it to decide whether it would be advisable to adopt a recommendation to Member States on this question’.
The two committees of governmental experts provided for in the Work Plan of 21 C/Resolution 5/03 were convened from 22 to 26 February 1982 and from 28 June to 2 July 1982 at the Headquarters of Unesco and WIPO respectively. The different aspects of the safeguarding of folklore were examined at these meetings with a view to identifying the areas to be covered by a possible international instrument.