Operational Directives for the implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage

Article 7 of the Convention stipulates that one of the functions of the Committee is to prepare and submit to the General Assembly for approval operational directives for the implementation of the Convention.

The General Assembly adopted for the first time the Operational Directives in June 2008, and amended them in June 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016. It will continue to complete and revise them in future meetings.

Among other things, the Operational Directives indicate the procedures to be followed for inscribing intangible heritage on the lists of the Convention, the provision of international financial assistance, the accreditation of non-governmental organizations to act in an advisory capacity to the Committee or the involvement of communities in implementing the Convention.

Former versions
5.GA (2014): English|French|Spanish|Russian|Arabic|Chinese
4.GA (2012): English|French|Spanish|Russian|Arabic|Chinese
3.GA (2010): English|French|Spanish|Russian|Arabic|Chinese
2.GA (2008): English|French

Download Operational Directives

Current version, as amended during the last General Assembly (6.GA, 2016):

New: specific paragraphs of the Operational Directives can be directly linked using following structure: http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/en/Directives/6.GA/170 (in this example, paragraph 170 of the Operational Directives as amended during the sixth General Assembly)

Table of Contents

Chapter I - Safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage at the international level, cooperation and international assistance

  • I.1 Criteria for inscription on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding
  • I.2 Criteria for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
  • I.3 Criteria for selection of programmes, projects and activities that best reflect the principles and objectives of the Convention
  • I.4 Eligibility and selection criteria of international assistance requests
  • I.5 Multi-national files
  • I.6 Inscription on an extended or reduced basis
  • I.7 Submission of files
  • I.8 Evaluation of files
  • I.9 Nominations to the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding to be processed on an extremely urgent basis
  • I.10 Examination of files by the Committee
  • I.11 Transfer of an element from one List to the other or removal of an element from a List
  • I.12 Modification of name of an inscribed element
  • I.13 Programmes, projects and activities selected as best reflecting the principles and objectives of the Convention
  • I.14 International assistance
  • I.15 Timetable–Overview of procedures
  • I.16 Incorporation of items proclaimed ‘Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity’ in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Chapter II - The Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund

  • II.1 Guidelines for the use of the resources of the Fund
  • II.2 The means to increase the resources of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund
    • II.2.1 Donors
    • II.2.2 Conditions
    • II.2.3 Benefits for donors

Chapter III - Participation in the implementation of the Convention

  • III.1 Participation of communities, groups and, where applicable, individuals, as well as experts, centres of expertise and research institutes
  • III.2 Non-governmental organizations and the Convention
    • III.2.1 Participation of non-governmental organizations at the national level
    • III.2.2 Participation of accredited non-governmental organizations

Chapter IV - Raising awareness about intangible cultural heritage and use of the emblem of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage

  • IV.1 Raising awareness about intangible cultural heritage
    • IV.1.1 General provisions
    • IV.1.2 Local and national levels
    • IV.1.3 International level
  • IV.2 Use of the emblem of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage
    • IV.2.1 Definition
    • IV.2.2 Rules applicable to use of the UNESCO logo and the emblem of the Convention respectively
    • IV.2.3 Rights of use
    • IV.2.4 Authorization
    • IV.2.5 Criteria and conditions for the use of the emblem for the purpose of patronage
    • IV.2.6 Commercial use and contractual arrangements
    • IV.2.7 Graphical standards
    • IV.2.8 Protection

Chapter V - Reporting to the Committee

  • V.1 Reports by States Parties on the implementation of the Convention
  • V.2 Reports by States Parties on elements inscribed on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding
  • V.3 Receipt and processing of reports
  • V.4 Reports by States non party to the Convention on elements inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Chapter VI - Safeguarding intangible cultural heritage and sustainable development at the national level

  • VI.1 Inclusive social development
    • VI.1.1 Food security
    • VI.1.2 Health care
    • VI.1.3 Quality education
    • VI.1.4 Gender equality
    • VI.1.5 Access to clean and safe water and sustainable water use
  • VI.2 Inclusive economic development
    • VI.2.1 Income generation and sustainable livelihoods
    • VI.2.2 Productive employment and decent work
    • VI.2.3 Impact of tourism on the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage and vice versa
  • VI.3 Environmental sustainability
    • VI.3.1 Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe
    • VI.3.2 Environmental impacts in the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage
    • VI.3.3 Community-based resilience to natural disasters and climate change
  • VI.4 Intangible cultural heritage and peace
    • VI.4.1 Social cohesion and equity
    • VI.4.2 Preventing and resolving disputes
    • VI.4.3 Restoring peace and security
    • VI.4.4 Achieving lasting peace