The annual ICH NGO Forum and Symposium took place on 29th of November in Windhoek (Namibia) to the occasion of 10.COM.
As illustrated by the Symposium’s title “Towards a code of Ethics for ICH NGO’s?”, the Forum intends to make a contribution to the international reflection on the 2003 Convention in its relation to ethical questions on different levels. A call for presentations was launched from which 4 abstracts were selected. A round table debate followed the presentations. (see the program)
Key insights of the Symposium into this very complex area were that dialogue and communication is a crucial approach to the international field. Challenges tend to be dealt with on a case by case basis, with awareness of the communities, groups and individuals as primary actors in ICH, and the importance of contextualisation and culturally diverse ethics. Proposals were made for the NGO Forum to focus on the question of governance and on principles of equity. This will be taken forward in the coming year. (find the presentations here)
During the Morning session the annual plenary ICH NGO FORUM meeting was held, focussing on the NGO Forum’s activities.
2015 has been an active year for the ICH NGO Forum with some significant events and progresses:
The ICH NGO Forum held its first International Conference from June 6-13 in Santa Susanna Catalonia Spain. It was hosted by the Ens De L’Assocacionisme Cultural to how we once again express our gratitude. The Conference allowed an in depth analysis of the future direction of the Forum, and of course the possible changes which could be made relating to the operational directives of the Convention that directly touch upon the NGOs activities (the introduction of the Evaluation Body in 2014 and the review of the accreditation of the NGO’s).
The outcome of the Conference in Catalonia shows a significant step forward in the international collaboration of ICH NGOs related to the Convention:
1) the role and function of the Forum is made more precise with shared a vision, mission and values as well as setting out nine clear functions.
2) the organization of the Forum is strengthened with the creation of a Steering Committee.
3) the participants analyzed how the Forum could potentially improve the NGO’s participation in the Evaluation Body, a proposal that will be taken forward by the Steering Committee, bringing greater visibility and information sharing of the expertise which exists in the ICH NGOs.
These proposals were unanimously adopted at our yesterday Forum.
The annual ICH NGO Forum and Symposium have over the years developed a tradition to be part of the Intergovernmental Committee meetings, as is illustrated by the numerous participation yesterday: over 70 registrations of NGOs, communities, researchers, state parties and members of the national UNESCO Commissions from over 30 countries participated.