UNESCO official calls for uniform mechanism on ICH protection

16:45, May 30, 2011      

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A UNESCO official has called on the international society to build a uniform mechanism in protecting intangible cultural heritage (ICH) as many countries still misunderstand the Convention for the Safeguarding of ICH.

Cecile Duvelle, chief of UNESCO's ICH section, made the remarks on Sunday while addressing the ongoing forum for ICH protection in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province.

She said that safeguarding ICH is the main objective of the convention, but many countries do not fully understand the key concepts of the convention after three years' of implementation,

Experience has shown that the convention is not understood and implemented in a consistent way, said Duvelle, who is also the Secretary of the Convention for the Safeguarding of ICH.

The UN official said identification, documentation, research and preservation are only safeguarding measures if they aim to ensure the viability of ICH as specified by the convention.

According to the convention, ICH must always be living heritage, which means it must continue to be actively produced, maintained, recreated and safeguarded, Duvelle said.

The Convention for the Safeguarding of ICH was adopted by UNESCO's General Conference in October 2003 and entered into force in 2006. Currently, the convention has 135 States Parties.

Duvelle said many countries have largely concentrated on the promotional aspects, instead of focusing on the urgent tasks of safeguarding ICH at risk.

Source: Xinhua

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