• 1. Distinguished Delegates of the States Parties to the 2003 Convention and UNESCO Secretariat, I direct this message on behalf of the Steering Committee of the ICH NGO Forum and the accredited organizations that work actively with the communities and bearers of ICH.

    2. The World is using now much more online communication tools, and these could be very useful in coping with the pandemic, including various capacity building actions, in which NGOs could and should be acknowledged as one of the key partners in safeguarding ICH.

    3. In this regard, we would appreciate if GA might consider to expand the scope of the ICH Fund, which you will address under Agenda item 7, to help resilience of ICH under the pandemic, in particular ICH of more vulnerable, indigenous and minority communities, as well as to decrease digital divide in our increasingly interconnected world.

  • 1. In response to these decisions, the ICH NGO Forum organized a workshop during 14.COM in Bogota (Colombia), with the aim of reflecting upon the nature and purposes of the Lists (Representative List and Urgent Safeguarding List) and the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices.

    2. These three identified areas are: 1) reporting functions in the pre/post-inscription processes; 2) assessment of urgency of safeguarding an ICH element; 3) sharing of good safeguarding practices.

    3. The ICH NGO Forum underscores the need to increase involvement of communities, groups and individuals, and additionally the competence and experience of NGOs in pre-inscription processes.

  • 1. During the annual ICH NGO Forum Symposium held last year in Bogotá we addressed the ongoing process of global reflection on the listing mechanisms with the view to also include a reflection on the advisory functions of NGOs therein.

    2. Regarding pre-inscription process, we would like to underscore crucial importance of the involvement of communities, groups and individuals, and NGOs since their inclusion in the ICH element selection processes for nominations to UNESCO lists varies widely.

    3. Regarding post-inscription monitoring, NGOs agree that such monitoring is not happening because there are no concrete procedures available to monitor individual elements after inscription.

  • 1. In the same spirit the Convention has been one of the pioneers in the UN to explore participation of civil society in heritage governance, and it has been inviting NGOs from all the regions of the world to relate to the work of the Convention and to offer advisory services.

    2. as being reflected in the Committee’s debates, in the huge work delivered for the Global Capacity Building Programme, and for the setting up of the Overall Results Framework, and in initiatives such as the #livingheritage or the Safeguarding Survey just launched.

    3. Developing a platform for communication and coordination with accredited NGOs ever since, the Forum has delivered numerous outcomes already and is dedicating growing efforts for the outreach and civil society involvement in the life of the Convention.

  • 1. The Forum welcomes the decisions of the 10.COM Committee and of this 6.GA General Assembly, which reflect the concerns of NGOs regarding the safeguarding of ICH, notably:

    2. The Forum also welcomes the first formal mention in relation to the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage in situations of armed conflict at the 10.COM Committee session, and wishes to engage in the development of synergies between UNESCO’s different Conventions for Culture.

    3. To contribute to the current developments three new working groups were created: capacity building, the cooperation between NGOs and researchers concerned with intangible cultural heritage, ethical issues.

  • 1. By these actions, the ICH NGO Forum contributes to the principles and objectives of the Convention, relevant to all stakeholders for its implementation.

    2. The ICH NGO Forum acknowledges and appreciates the decision of the Committee 8.COM 14.b, in which it recognizes the need to strengthen NGO participation in the implementation of the Convention at all levels and encourages States Parties to promote increased NGOs and community involvement in the development of policy, legislation, safeguarding and sustainable development plans.

    3. This decision implies that acting in an advisory capacity to the Committee goes far beyond NGOs service in the present Consultative Body, or the proposed Evaluation Body, the establishment of which the ICH NGO Forum would welcome.

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