NGO STATEMENT ICH-7.COM (Paris, 6th December 2012)
1. The ICH NGO Forum appreciates the role and the trust that the Intergovernmental Committee has given to civil society to help in the implementation of the ICH Convention.
2. The NGO Forum is grateful for the support brought by the ICH Fund to NGOs from developing countries making their presence possible.
3. Prior to this 7th IGC Meeting, some fifty representatives of NGOs from the 6 regions of the world participated in the third ICH NGO Forum Meeting in Paris on Sunday December 2, 2012. The NGO Symposium had the theme “Community involvement in the implementation of the 2003 Convention”. The NGOs also discussed some organizational aspects of the NGO Forum given the growing interest of a number of NGOs from all over in participating in the forum. An immediate concern was the idea of working on tools to share information on the best practices and methods in safeguarding ICH.
4. The NGO Forum reaffirms the statements it made at the IGC meetings of 2010 in Nairobi and of 2011 in Bali.
5. The NGO FORUM had the following observations:
5.1. The meeting reiterated the fundamental role devoted to NGOs in the implementation of the 2003 Convention, notably in Article 9 and Article 11b, as well as the central role assigned to NGOs in Chapter III.2 of the Operational Directives as demonstrated in the periodic reports of State Parties;
5.2.The meeting took note of the important functions fulfilled by the NGOs in the implementation of the 2003 Convention from community level to national and international level, having in mind that the NGOs as stakeholders and intermediaries,
– are competent to translate the concepts, spirit and goals of the Convention into actions,
– are able to activate, mediate and connect different actors,
– are contributing to a participatory approach and problem-resolving attitude.
5.3.The meeting recognized the fact that accreditation of NGOs has undeniably benefited the stimulation of safeguarding ICH through capacity building and strengthening the networking of NGOs at the International level. It has encouraged NGOs, particularly those from developing countries, many of which are composed of ICH community holders, to enhance their safeguarding capabilities and facilitate their alignment to accepted international standard working concepts and methods;
5.4.The meeting affirmed that NGOs can continue contributing to assist and help the IGC in the fulfilment of its objectives.
6.Therefore, the NGO FORUM recommends the following for consideration by the IGC:
6.1. to take note of the willingness of NGOs to contribute to the strengthening of the fundamental community participation in the implementation of the 2003 Convention, and to offer their support and expertise as accredited NGOs in national and international processes and efforts for capacity building and safeguarding of ICH;
6.2. to take into consideration the fundamental role of NGOs for cultural mediation, raising awareness, representation and advocacy;
6.3. to explore possibilities at multilateral level to develop the advisory functions of Accredited NGOs;
6.4. to recognise that the role of accredited NGO’s as stakeholders in the implementation of the Convention goes beyond the limited opportunities to act in an advisory capacity to the Committee, and therefore consider them to be active participants in any possible revision of the criteria for accreditation.
6.5. to consider to have periodic reports of NGOs be taken into account, complementary to the periodic reports of the State Parties, for the information of the Committee members, a practice common to other UN treaty bodies.