The General Conference of UNESCO adopted in 2003, the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. The adoption of the Convention became a milestone in the evolution of international policies for promoting cultural diversity, since for the first time the international community had recognized the need to safeguard the practice representations, expressions, knowledge and skills that communities, groups and in some cases individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage.
Such heritage may be manifested in domains such as oral traditions and expressions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practice about nature and the universe, and traditional craftsmanship. It also includes the instruments, objects, artifacts and cultural spaces associated with intangible cultural heritage.
The Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage ('the Convention') entered into force in 2006. The rapid ratification of the Convention is a testament to the international community's concern for safeguarding the world's living heritage but many of the States Parties to the Convention or States not yet party to the Convention do not fully understand the different mechanisms established under the Convention. In addition, they often lack the human resources and technical know-how necessary to implement the Convention effectively.
To respond to these significant needs, UNESCO's strategic emphasis for the 2012-2013 biennium focuses on assisting national counterparts in ratifying the Convention, meeting their obligations as States Parties and benefitting from the opportunities and mechanisms of international cooperation created under the Convention.
That is why UNESCO – thanks to the generous cooperation of the Kingdom of Norway - has launched in Central Asia, Africa and the Caribbean a project focused on the strengthening of the national capacities of the States Parties of the 2003 Convention.
What is intangible cultural heritage? Why should we safeguard it? What can States do for safeguarding their intangible cultural heritage?
How to strengthen the national capacities? Who will facilitate the Workshops and give technical assistance? How many and which activities will take place during the Project?
Why choose Caribbean countries for this project?
Activities to be held in the biennium 2012-2013: