How to ratify the 2003 Convention?

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In the text of the Convention

  1. Article 32 - Ratification, acceptance or approval

The provisions of the Convention only apply in the territories of the States that are party to the Convention, that is, Member States of UNESCO that have deposited an instrument of ratification (or of acceptance, approval or accession) with the Director-General of UNESCO and for which the Convention has entered into force.

Ratification is ‘the international act so named by whereby a State establishes on the international plane its consent to be bound by a treaty’ (Article 2(1)(b) of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties). Acceptance, approval and accession have the same legal effects as ratification. The Convention enters into force three months after the deposit by a State of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession. An updated list of States Parties to the Convention is available online.

The Convention is a permissive document and the majority of its articles are worded in non-prescriptive language, allowing governments’ flexibility in their approach to its implementation. However, States Parties are required to adopt appropriate measures at the national and international level to encourage and foster all forms of international cooperation aimed at safeguarding intangible cultural heritage. The specific obligations outlined in the Convention and in the Operational Directives for its implementation are summarised below:

Please refer to the Model instrument of ratification/acceptance/approval/accession: English|French|Spanish.