Decisión del Comité intergubernamental: 7.COM 10.7

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Pakistan has requested International Assistance in the amount of US$48,000 for Safeguarding of intangible heritage of Pakistan's Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa Province:

Recent years have witnessed a significant increase in threats to the intangible cultural heritage of Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa Province in the North-West of Pakistan, linked to the actions of fundamentalists who do not tolerate performing arts. This project, undertaken by the Pakistan National Council of the Arts, aims to safeguard and revive performing arts in the province, and to assist displaced artists to repatriate and resettle in the region. Key activities planned include the production and dissemination of audio-visual materials on the performing arts; the organization of large concerts in major cities; the creation of annual music and drama competitions among schools to raise awareness about the importance of this intangible cultural heritage and encourage talented performers; financial assistance to forty needy artists; and the organization of training for cultural officers. These cultural officers would be able to address the problems of local performing artists, including locating performance venues, and would function as a bridge between artists and cultural authorities. The PNCA would also work to establish a national union of performing artists in their chosen fields, and would make efforts to promote their rights through the effective implementation of intellectual property rights protections.

  1. Decides that, from the information provided in file 00556, the request responds as follows to the criteria for granting International Assistance given in Paragraphs 10 and 12 of the Operational Directives:

A.1:   The active participation of the different communities of Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa Province in preparing the request and their future active involvement in implementing the proposed activities, other than as beneficiaries, have not been demonstrated in sufficient detail;

A.2:   Although the budget is clearly structured, the specific financial responsibilities of the requesting State and of UNESCO respectively are not distinguished; certain costs appear to be underestimated or not included, even though these are major components of the project, and no explanation is provided for the use of revenues to be generated during the project;

A.3:   Despite the State Party’s very laudable intentions, the request does not clearly identify what intangible cultural heritage is to be safeguarded by the proposed activities and it is thus difficult to assess their appropriateness; their feasibility also needs to be further demonstrated as well as the implementing strategy of the Pakistan National Council of the Arts, in particular taking into account the context of conflict in Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa Province;

A.4:   The sustainability of the project depends in part on factors beyond the control of the requesting State; the occasional nature of a number of punctual activities such as concerts or competitions does not seem appropriate to contribute to a larger process of peace-building which is essential to ensure the sustainability of the project;

A.5:   The State Party shares equally with the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund the cost of the activities proposed, although the specific financial responsibilities of the requesting State are not distinguished from those of UNESCO;

A.6:   The request does not address sustainable capacity building of performing artists and cultural officers in the field of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage; punctual financial assistance to artists in need, however important it might be, does not constitute capacity building;

A.7:   The State Party has not previously received financial assistance from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund;

10(a):    The project is a national project and would involve implementing partners at the national level;

10(b):    While the provision of both technical and financial assistance beyond the end of the project is planned by the requesting State, contributions from other sources could be difficult to secure given the security situation in the region and the dangers facing performing artists;

  1. Decides not to approve the request, and invites the State Party to submit a revised request responding more fully to the criteria for selection and to the considerations noted in the present decision;
  2. Commends the initiative and the strong commitment of the State Party and its recognition of the important role that intangible cultural heritage can play in the protection of the freedom of cultural expressions;
  3. Notes the difficult situation facing the people of Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa Province and further notes that it is the people themselves that face severe threats and not only their intangible cultural heritage;
  4. Recommends that the State Party fully involve the communities of practitioners in the preparation of the request as well as in the planning and implementation of the activities and not only as beneficiaries of financial support or participants in punctual events;
  5. Encourages the State Party to clearly identify, with the widest possible participation of the community, the intangible cultural heritage for which financial assistance is sought and to develop well-conceived and feasible safeguarding measures that are aimed at sustaining the practice and transmission of the intangible cultural heritage over the medium and long terms and at promoting its recognition by society as a valuable source of identity and continuity.