Non-governmental organizations, experts, centres of expertise and research institutes


In the text of the Convention

  1. Article 9 - Accreditation of advisory organizations

  2. Article 15 - Participation of communities, groups and individuals

Other links

NGOs, experts, centres of expertise and research institutes play vital roles in safeguarding intangible cultural heritage. Chapter III of the Operational Directives explain that States Parties must ensure the participation of communities who are the bearers of intangible cultural heritage and should involve civil society in the implementation of the Convention at the national and international levels.

NGOs and the 2003 Convention

At the national level, States Parties are encouraged to involve NGOs in their safeguarding efforts especially in the identification and definition of intangible cultural heritage since NGOs are often best placed to work directly with heritage communities.

At the international level, accredited NGOs may be invited by the Intergovernmental Committee to provide advisory services. At its third session, the General Assembly approved the accreditation of close to 100 NGOs. NGOs whose activities are in the field of intangible cultural heritage are welcome to request accreditation, particularly those from developing countries.

Experts, centres of expertise and research institutes

States Parties are encouraged to create a coordination mechanism to facilitate the participation of communities, groups and, where applicable, individuals, as well as experts, centres of expertise and research institutes, in particular in:

States Parties are also encouraged to establish and regularly update, in a manner geared to their own situation, a directory of such stakeholders that could undertake ‘scientific, technical and artistic studies…with a view to effective safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage’ (Article 13.c).

Consultative Body

On an experimental basis, the Intergovernmental Committee sets up a consultative body composed of six accredited NGOs and six independent experts to undertake tasks of examining:

This Consultative Body formulate recommendations and submit them to the Committee for decision during its annual meeting.