Meetings on intangible cultural heritage (co-)organized by UNESCO

3 element(s)

Expert meeting on a model code of ethics for intangible cultural heritage30-03-2015/01-04-2015, Valencia (Spain)

In 2012, at its seventh session, the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) invited UNESCO’s Secretariat ‘to initiate work on a model code of ethics and to report on it to a next session of the Committee’ (Decision 7.COM 6: English|French). In order to initiate this important work, the Secretariat is organizing the present meeting, generously hosted by the Kingdom of Spain and co-funded by Spain and the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund.

The aim of the meeting is to discuss the main lines that should figure into codes of ethics for intangible cultural heritage. This three-day meeting will bring together twelve experts from different UNESCO Member States as well as four members of the Secretariat. The results of the meeting will be presented to the Director-General of UNESCO and subsequently examined by the Committee when it meets for its tenth session in Namibia from 30 November to 4 December 2015.

Debates during the meeting will focus on:

  1. The core values of the Convention that should be integrated into codes of ethics for ICH (e.g. values such as primacy of communities, respect for human rights and cultural diversity, limits on access to heritage and possession of heritage);
  2. General scope of codes of ethics for ICH. The comparative advantages of being more comprehensive or more focused on specific sectors. The multiple possible addressees (e.g. State agents, civil society, the private sector, the media, tourism operators, tourists, etc.);
  3. The specific ethical principles that should be included in codes of ethics for ICH (e.g. sector-specific and/or audience-specific principles, resulting from cross-referencing core values of the Convention against specific sectors or addressees);
  4. The possible processes that could be used to elaborate one or more model codes of ethics for ICH and to proceed from a model to specific codes adapted to different contexts at the regional, national and subnational levels (e.g. examples of other model codes and how they were developed, then how they were applied and/or turned into specific codes).


  • Background note and agenda
    ITH/15/EXP/1: English|French|Spanish in preparation
  • List of participants
    ITH/15/EXP/3: English/French
  • Towards codes of ethics for intangible cultural heritage?
    ITH/15/EXP/2: English|French in preparation|Spanish in preparation

Workshop on community-based inventorying of intangible cultural heritage 22/28-02-2015, Willemstad (Curaçao)

Training of trainers workshop on safeguarding plans and policy support for intangible cultural heritage for facilitators from the Asia-Pacific Region19/23-01-2015, Shenzhen (China)

Training of trainers workshop on safeguarding in Asia-Pacific

What are the knowledge and skills required to elaborate safeguarding plans for intangible cultural heritage effectively? How to acquire these competencies successfully? These questions are at the centre of a training workshop with eleven expert facilitators and ten UNESCO culture officers involved in implementing the global capacity-building strategy for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in the Asia Pacific region. Participants will test a new interactive methodology that UNESCO elaborated for this purpose and, furthermore, discuss new training approaches in two other thematic areas: policy development and gender.

The International Training Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region (CRIHAP) is hosting and generously supporting this training of trainers workshop on safeguarding plans and policy support, which will take place from 19 to 23 January 2015 in Shenzhen, China. Five specialists from China identified by CRIHAP are participating as observers in the training that UNESCO is co-facilitating together with Mr. Rieks Smeets and Ms. Janet Blake, both senior specialists on the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The Shenzhen training workshop on safeguarding plans and policy support for intangible cultural heritage is addressed to UNESCO-trained facilitators from the Asia-Pacific Region who have substantial experience in providing training and advisory services in the context of UNESCO’s global capacity building strategy for the effective implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003). It will furthermore welcome some additional experts selected to become future facilitators together with colleagues from the Region’s Field Offices and five Chinese experts. In total the workshop will bring together 26 participants.

The focus of the training is on elaborating safeguarding plans, because this theme was identified as a priority need in recent programme review meetings held with facilitators and Field Office colleagues in several regions. Indeed, without mastering the skills and knowledge required to elaborate solid plans for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage, safeguarding is not sustainable. Well-conceived, time-bound and budgeted safeguarding plans are furthermore a requirement for obtaining International Assistance from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for safeguarding projects and for preparing nomination files for the Urgent Safeguarding List.

Therefore, the Intangible Cultural Heritage Section developed a methodology on this topic, and will invite participating experts to provide feedback in order to finalize the materials. Similarly, UNESCO will share with participants for feedback and advice the progress made in developing training approaches and materials on two other themes: policy development and gender. These topics figured prominently in the recent evaluation of UNESCO’s standard-setting work of the Culture Sector, which concluded that they deserve more attention in the capacity-building programme. The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage endorsed the recommendation in a decision about the follow-up to the Evaluation (DECISION 8.COM 5.c.1).

The purpose of the training workshop is thus two-fold: it intends to upgrade participants’ competencies in the areas of safeguarding, policy development and gender, while at the same time drawing upon experts’ knowledge and experience for advice.