26.06.2018 -

Jamaica Celebrates Historic First Election to UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage Intergovernmental Committee

©Image courtesy of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Ent & SportThe Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender Entertainment and Sport of Jamaica (left) meets with the new Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Audrey Azoulay during the 7th Session of the General Assembly of State Parties to the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Paris, France

At the recently concluded 7th Session of the General Assembly of State Parties to the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, held 4 to 6 June 2018, Jamaica was one of twelve countries successfully elected to this Intergovernmental Committee. In the case of Jamaica, this is its first mandate to serve on the Committee since ratifying the Convention in 2010.

The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage comprises 24 State Parties divided in to five groups. Its core functions include promoting the objectives of the Convention, providing guidance on best practices and making recommendations on measures for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage.

The Jamaican delegation was led by the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, other representatives of the Ministry, the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO and representatives of the African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica/Jamaica Memory Bank, focal institution for the implementation of the Convention at the national level in Jamaica.

In addressing the General Assembly, Minister Grange encouraged countries party to the Convention to make every effort to build capacity within local communities to increase sustainable development for creative practitioners, culture bearers and the community at large, and emphasised the role which Jamaica’s intangible heritage has played in shaping the country’s identity and in providing economic benefits to communities and individuals in Jamaica. She further told the General Assembly that “Jamaica is proud of the fact that the musical heritage of the Maroons has been recognised through its inscription in 2008” (See https://ich.unesco.org/en/RL/maroon-heritage-of-moore-town-00053).

When elected to the Committee, State Parties serve a four year mandate, and so Jamaica will serve from 2018 to 2022. Other countries elected to the Committee during the General Assembly include the Netherlands, Azerbaijan, Poland, China, Japan, Kazakhstan, Sri Lank, Cameroon, Djibouti, Togo and Kuwait.


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