02.05.2011 - UNESCO Venice Office

Intangible cultural heritage in South-East Europe. Strengthening national capacities and regional cooperation

©Information and Documentation Centre of Folk Culture (Turkey)/Semah, Alevi-Bektaşi ritual

The UNESCO Venice Office, together with the Ministry of Culture, Media and Information Society of Serbia, will organize from 11 to 14 May 2011 in Belgrade the fifth annual seminar on Intangible cultural heritage in South-East Europe. This regional meeting will offer an opportunity to present and discuss, in a comparative and informative way, the implementation of national measures for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage. The meeting will also offer a platform of discussion and exchange of information on the inventorying-making process, a key element in the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage.

The meeting will be an opportunity to discuss future joint activities in the area of training and capacity-building, to be developed in conjunction with the Sofia Regional Center on intangible cultural heritage, recognized as regional Category 2 Center, placed under the auspices of UNESCO.

The meeting takes place in a context when the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage has been ratified by all countries from the South-East European region, and when all countries are actively engaged in implementing safeguarding measures, such as: developing systematic inventory policies; digitalizing the intangible cultural heritage; ensuring the proper involvement of the local communities and stakeholders; reinforcing regional and sub-regional co-operation, and enhancing the coordination between the UNESCO conventions of 1972, 2003 and 2005.

The meeting is also taking place shortly after the holding of the first European regional training of trainers’ workshop (“Strengthening national capacities for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage”) organized by UNESCO, in cooperation with the Bulgarian National Commission, in Sofia, Bulgaria (14-18 March 2011), and attended, among others, by trainees from Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Serbia and Turkey, in order to develop training capacities in Europe.

The seminar in Belgrade will address three major topics: “Implementing the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage”, “Identifying and inventorying intangible cultural heritage: building cultural diversity”, Training and capacity-building: a needs assessment”. The conference will comprise experts from Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey.

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