Land-of-Legends programme, for promoting and revitalizing the art of storytelling in Kronoberg Region Read more on the element
© Land of Legends, 2010

Article 18 of the 2003 Convention provides that the ‘Committee shall periodically select and promote national, sub-regional and regional programmes, projects and activities for the safeguarding of the heritage which it considers best reflect the principles and objectives of this Convention.’ In order to implement this provision, a mechanism named Register of Good Safeguarding Practices was established in 2009, through which the Intergovernmental Committee selects such safeguarding practices based on defined criteria.

While it is innovative for a normative instrument to include a listing for sharing good practices, the Register has been underutilized compared to the other two Lists of the Convention: out of the 677 elements currently recognized in the listing system of the Convention, only 33 are included in the Register.

Through the global reflection on the listing mechanisms of the 2003 Convention (2018-2022), the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage decided at its sixteenth session 2021 (Decision 16.COM 14) to launch a separate reflection to explore the full potential of Article 18 of the Convention.

The idea is not only to continue discussing issues raised during the Global Reflection concerning the management of the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices, but also to pay attention to the implementation of Article 18 of the Convention beyond the Register.

This new initiative is made possible thanks to generous contribution by the Kingdom of Sweden.

Reflection points

The seventeenth session of the Committee defined in 2022 (Decision 17.COM 10) the following three reflection topics:

  • Topic 1: Improving the access to and increasing the visibility of the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices
  • Topic 2: Towards the creation of an ‘observatory’ for sharing good safeguarding practices
  • Topic 3: Any other issues to be identified


The reflection is a multi-step process which follows the timeline as established by the seventeenth session of the Committee (Decision 17.COM 10).

13 to 18 December 2021 (Online)Sixteenth session of the Committee (16.COM)Initiation of reflection;
Decision 16.COM 14
5 to 7 July 2022(UNESCO Headquarters)Ninth session of the General Assembly (9.GA)Taking note of reflection;
Resolution 9.GA 9
28 November to 3 December 2022 (Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco)Seventeenth session of the Committee (17.COM)Preliminary intergovernmental discussion to identify reflection topics;
Decision 17.COM 10
19 to 21 April 2023 (Stockholm, Sweden)Category VI meeting of expertsExpert discussion to lay the ground for intergovernmental discussion
4 to 6 July 2023 (UNESCO Headquarters)Open-ended intergovernmental working groupIntergovernmental discussion and proposal on possible amendments to the Operational Directives
4 to 9 December 2023 (Kasane, Republic of Botswana)Eighteenth session of the Committee (18.COM)Agreement on draft amendments to the Operational Directives to be recommended to the 10.GA;
Decision 18.COM 11
Mid-2024 (UNESCO Headquarters)Tenth session of the General Assembly (10.GA)Adoption of the amendments to the Operational Directives