PRESS RELEASE – Saint Lucia’s representative on the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), Mrs. June King Frederick attended the 10th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Windhoek, South Africa (29th November – 4th December, 2015).
The session chaired by Trudie Amulungu of Namibia, opened in Windhoek on Sunday 29thNovember, 2015 with the participation of 500 delegates from some 100 countries.
The core functions of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage are to promote the objectives of the Convention, provide guidance on best practices and make recommendations on measures for the safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
“UNESCO has over the years rightly placed great emphasis on the protection of humanity’s intangible heritage. Central to UNESCO’s mission is the recognition that whatever human beings have created, built and invented over the centuries is the collective heritage of all humankind, for which we have to assume collective responsibility.
President of the UNESCO General Conference, Stanley Simataa highlighted the major role intangible cultural heritage could play in implementing the 2030 sustainable development agenda: “Indigenous and traditional knowledge and practices embedded in our cultures, are powerful tools to address the pressing challenges facing humanity today. These challenges include poverty and hunger in all their dimensions, climate change and natural disasters, loss of biodiversity, social marginalisation and economic inequalities.”
In a video message to the 10th session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritiage, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, described Namibia as “a great champion of the 2003 Convention” for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and thanked its government for hosting the meeting. “This is a strong signal for Africa. This is a strong signal for intangible heritage,” she said.
During its session, the Committee reviewed six nominations for inscription on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, as well as 34 nominations for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The next annual meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage will take place from 28th November to 2nd December 2016 in Addis-Abeba (Ethiopia) and will be chaired by Yonas Desta, Director General of the Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage (ARCCH).
Saint Lucia, through its Permanent Delegation to UNESCO presented its candidacy to the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, during the 5th session of the General Assembly of State Parties held on Wednesday 4th June 2014 at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France.
The more than 600 participants attending the Fifth General Assembly elected Saint Lucia among 12 Member States including, Afghanistan, Algeria, Bulgaria, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Hungary, India, Mongolia, Republic of Korea and Turkey to serve on theprestigious body.
Saint Lucia become signatory to the 2003 convention in January 2007, and was one of the first Caribbean Islands States to ratify this convention.