India in UNESCO panel on Intangible Cultural Heritage

On July 7, 2022, India got elected to “Intergovernmental Committee of UNESCO’s 2003 Convention for Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH)” for the third time. India will be a member for a period of 2022-2026.

Key Facts

  • In past, India has been a member of ICH Committee for two times viz., during 2006-2010 and 2014-2018.
  • Amid the ongoing celebrations of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, India has been elected for two prominent Committees of UNESCO namely,
  1. Intangible Cultural Heritage (for 2022-2026) and
  2. World Heritage (for 2021-2025).
  • Membership to ICH Committee will provide India an opportunity to restore the values of ‘Vasudeva Kutumbakam’.

Core functions of ICH Committee

  • As per UNESCO, the main functions of “Intergovernmental Committee for Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage” include:
  1. Promoting the objectives of the convention
  2. Providing directions on best practices and
  3. Recommending on measures to safeguard intangible cultural heritage.
  • It also looks after the requests submitted by States Parties for engraving intangible heritage on the Lists. It also looks after proposals for programmes and projects.
  • It acts as an in charge of providing international assistance.

Members of the ICH Committee

The Intergovernmental Committee of 2003 Convention includes 24 members. Members are elected in General Assembly of the Convention.  States Members are elected for four years term.

India’s vision for 2022-2026 term

For the 2022-2026 term, India has set a clear vision to protect and promote the intangible cultural heritage of humanity. India’s priority areas of focus include:

  • Encouraging community participation
  • Strengthening international cooperation via intangible heritage
  • Promoting academic research in the field of intangible cultural heritage
  • Lining up the work of 2003 Convention with UN Sustainable Development Goals.

India will also get an opportunity to monitor the implementation of 2003 convention, being a member of intergovernmental committee.

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