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13COM Symposium ICH NGO Forum – Report

13COM Symposium ICH NGO Forum: “Role of accredited NGOs in the implementation of the UNESCO 2003 Convention”

The ICH NGO Forum Symposium 2018 focused on identifying the role(s) of accredited NGOs in the implementation of the UNESCO 2003 convention.

What (future) roles to play for accredited NGOs in the 2003 Convention?

The Operational Directives of the 2003 Convention in Chapter III.2.2 (paragraphs 91-99) lay out the criteria and procedures for the accreditation of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to provide advisory services to the Committee, in accordance with Article 9 of the Convention on “Accreditation of advisory organizations”.

Basic Texts of the Convention (2016) pp. 46-47: Advisory functions: Operational Directive 96:

Accredited non-governmental organizations who, according to Article 9.1 of the Convention, shall have advisory functions to the Committee, may be invited by the Committee to provide it, inter alia, with reports of evaluation as a reference for the Committee (…)

Thus far, NGO advisory services have been limited foremost to the work of the Evaluation Body, providing reports of evaluation on nomination files, proposals for the Register, international assistance…

This is stated as an advisory function INTER ALIA, however.

In other words: other advisory functions are possible. The current Operational Directives do not (yet) offer adequate tools, though, to organize further advisory functions and contributions by the involved NGOs.

At the 12.COM meeting in Jeju, the intergovernmental committee (IGC) opened a reflection process addressing the topic of the advisory functions of accredited NGOs, with the view of enhancing the formal contribution of NGOs in the implementation of the Convention.

The IGC invited the Secretariat and the informal ad hoc working group to reflect, in consultation with accredited NGOs, on the possible ways in which the participation of NGOs under the 2003 Convention could be further enhanced and how this would be reflected in the accreditation and renewal mechanisms of NGOs, as well as to report the results of such reflection to the Committee for examination at its 13th session. Also, an online consultation has been held this Autumn collecting inputs from States Parties as well as NGOs, to further feed the reflection process.

With view to contribute to the current reflection process, the ICH NGO Forum Symposium at 13.COM invites for a shared contemplation in its midst on the future roles NGOs would wish to outline as relevant and desirable roles and to deliberate about potential scenarios for operationalization.

The Symposium kicked of with a general introduction to the theme.

Next, a series of contributors to the ICH NGO Forum each shed their light on the question, all of them zooming into a specific topic NGOs have been taking an active role in already in past years through the Forum’s Working Groups (#HeritageAlive, Research, Ethics, ICT, Capacity Building, …)

Finally, there was time for a collective exchange of thoughts and conclusion feeding the debates at 13.COM and in the near future, taking the opportunity of this annual gathering of numerously accredited NGOs joining the annual ICH NGO Forum’s symposium.

You can find all presentations and documents here:

  • INTRODUCTION – Jorijn Neyrinck (Pdf)
  • The role of NGOs in Research – Albert Van der Zeijden, Robert Baron, Valentina L. Zingari, Laurier Turgeon (Pdf – Abstract / ENGLISH – Pdf /FRENCH)
  • The role of NGOs in Capacity Building – Marit Stranden (Pdf – Abstract / ENGLISH) – (Abstract / FRENCH)
  • The role of NGOs relating to Ethical Principals – Antoine Gauthier (PdfAbstract / ENGLISH) – (PdfAbstract / FRENCH)
  • The role of NGOs in sharing safeguarding experiences – Eivind Falk (Pdf – Abstract / ENGLISH) – (Abstract / FRENCH)
  • The role of NGOs in ICT for ICH – Jorge Caceido and CICS (Pdf)
  • The role of NGOs related to the Overall Results Framework – Antoine Gauthier (Abstract / ENGLISH) – (Pdf – Abstract / FRENCH)

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