211.The Chairperson proceeded to item 9.b and document 9.b+Add., adding that the Register of Best Safeguarding Practices helped share successful safeguarding experiences and provided examples of efficient transmission of living heritage to future generations. These methods and approaches were useful lessons and models that could be adapted to other situations, including those in developing countries. Since 2009, eleven Best Safeguarding Practices had been selected. In the 2014 cycle, the Consultative Body had evaluated four proposals. However, it was noted that both Mexico and Hungary had withdrawn their proposals. The Chairperson reminded the Committee that the overall decision 9.COM 9.b would be adopted upon completion of the examination of the two proposals. He thus invited the Rapporteur to present the second part of the Consultative Body’s report on the examination of proposals to the Register of Best Safeguarding Practices and the examination of requests for International Assistance.
212.Presenting the Consultative Body’s report, the Rapporteur began by congratulating the four States that prioritized proposals to the Register of Best Safeguarding Practices for this cycle, but regretted that more countries did not follow suit. The Rapporteur stressed again that the Body was tasked to evaluate not simply a good practice but an exemplary safeguarding practice that could inspire other communities and States Parties. One of the issues that attracted the attention of the Body in several of the files was the apparent lack of understanding of the fundamental concepts of the Convention. States were reminded that the proposals must be designed in the framework and spirit of the Convention and should focus on intangible cultural heritage, as defined in Article 2. States should avoid, for example, selecting projects that were primarily concerned with natural or tangible heritage. Similarly, a best safeguarding practice should demonstrate knowledge of the Convention’s definition of safeguarding and should not result in folkorizing or institutionalizing intangible cultural heritage. Moreover, the Body noted that while a programme’s economic benefits could be relevant and important for the communities concerned, financial gain could not be the primary reason for the programme nor could it justify its selection as a best safeguarding practice. As previously mentioned, the identification of the communities involved in the proposed programme was one of the central themes of discussion. Once again, a poor definition of communities had an impact on the other criteria and precluded the understanding of the proposed safeguarding methodologies in general. Similarly, the issue of the contour of the communities arose, and once again an adequate description of the communities was considered indispensable for evaluating proposals. The Body also pointed issues such as the necessity for the programme to be primarily applicable to the needs of developing countries, the importance of capacity-building, and the necessity for research and evaluation demonstrating the effectiveness of safeguarding programmes before they could be put forward as best practices. It was noted that in response to the Committee’s Decision 8.COM 5.c.1, the Body held a brainstorming session on alternative lighter ways of sharing good safeguarding experiences. The Body felt that it was very important to encourage and take advantage of primary research on the effectiveness of safeguarding programmes – or on their lack of effectiveness – so as to begin drawing lessons, and so that communities could begin to learn from others and benefit from their experiences. The Secretariat had taken note of the Body’s brainstorming.
213.The Rapporteur concluded with the evaluation of international assistance requests greater than US$25,000. There were only two requests in this cycle and the Body regretted this low level of interest. As mentioned in the first part of the report, the Body hoped that technical assistance provided to some developing countries in the preparation of international assistance requests would improve the situation, as well as the new combined form ICH-01bis to allow submitting States to simultaneously request inscription on the Urgent Safeguarding List and international assistance for the proposed safeguarding plans. As previously found, the Body encountered problems with the definition of communities, as well as incoherence and inconsistency between the stated objectives, the expected results, the activities proposed, and the corresponding budget. States Parties were again encouraged to take heed of advice given by the past Committee in this regard, and to follow the instructions given in the form. Furthermore, the Body wished to emphasize that elaborating national strategies required a full consultation process at the national level, and could not be an isolated, individual initiative. Another issue that arose concerned the compensation of communities. The Body held the opinion that the time spent by community members to participate in the project should be compensated. Whether they should be remunerated at the same or different standards compared to the experts performing similar work was at the discretion of each State and varied with the context, but the reader should be able to find clear information in the file. Lastly, the Body noticed the striking similarity of two submitted requests to International Assistance requests previously approved by the Committee. While it was good to draw inspiration from successful files, the Body wished to remind States that safeguarding measures should always be specific to a given context. Concluding, the Rapporteur hoped that the report had presented an accurate and comprehensive overview of the Body’s work. She also wished to extend her sincere appreciation to the Chairperson of the Consultative Body and to all its members for their support in her role as Rapporteur.
214.The Chairperson thanked the Rapporteur for the concise and informative report, which gave the Committee an overview on the work of the Consultative Body regarding the two safeguarding mechanisms. He then opened the floor for comment and observations.
215.The delegation of Brazil was disappointed to note that only two International Assistance requests had been examined, and therefore there was a need to reflect as to why this was so given that there were resources available in the Fund and it was known that many people were in great need of assistance. Moreover, one of the two files had been rejected. The delegation suggested that the Committee reflect on its standards, adding that maybe the submitting States had too many forms to complete, or that the bureaucracy and the Committee’s demands were excessive. Difficulties could also be attributed to the fact that those requiring support and financial resources did not have the means to fulfil all the obligations imposed, resulting in them abandoning requests for funding. Additionally, people may prefer to find alternative sources of financing, or Member States were using their own national resources to support these activities. The delegation reiterated the need for reflection, adding that too many barriers were preventing Member States from presenting files and requests for support.
216.The delegation of the Republic of Korea appreciated the Consultative Body’s hard work, especially the Secretariat-led process of feedback, which improved the quality of the nomination files and was found to be an indispensable mechanism addressing the difficulties faced by submitting States with limited resources. It commended the Secretariat for this crucial work. It also drew the Committee's attention to the low level of approval of requests for International Assistance. In 2011, four out of the four requests submitted were not approved. In 2012, eight out of ten were not approved. In 2013, the sole request submitted was not approved, and in 2014, both requests were not approved. This showed that the very few annual requests for International Assistance were rarely successful. The delegation understood that all the necessary information had to be submitted in order to meet the strict criteria governing contractual arrangements between UNESCO and the beneficiary States, as reflected in paragraph 3 of the report. However, this low approval rate raised the question as to why the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund was not actively utilized. Was it simply owing to a lack of understanding and a limited capacity among the requesting members, or were there other underlying and systematic difficulties that hindered the Fund’s active utilization? The delegation invited the Consultative Body and the Secretariat to respond to this issue. Nevertheless, it welcomed the technical assistance afforded to a number of countries to support their planning and to assist in their requests, as reported in paragraph 10 of the report. It was also noted that the Secretariat had spoken about the high level of cooperation with UNESCO Field Offices and on aligning category 2 centres to its objectives. However, the delegation was still under the impression that the Secretariat could further tap into theses resources to bring additional value to the process in the near future in a continually aligning approach. It believed that the Secretariat would soon have the potential resources at hand, and the delegation encouraged it to envisage every possible avenue to realize its objectives, adding that it would continue to support the Secretariat’s efforts in this regard.
217.The delegation of Congo wished to reiterate thanks to the Consultative Body for a job well done. It found particularly pertinent Brazil’s remark on the very low number of requests for funding, adding that the Secretariat – as suggested by the Republic of Korea – should make contact with the field offices and the national commissions. In this way, they could offer assistance, while renewing their availability so that States had the opportunity to apply for funding.
218.The Chairperson opened the floor to Observers, but with no requests for the floor, he invited the Rapporteur to answer the questions.
219.The Rapporteur thanked the Committee Members for their questions, adding that she shared its concern regarding the under utilization of the Fund. This point was emphasised in the report in that the Secretariat – in the case of international assistance compared to the other mechanisms – was at the disposal of States Parties to help them fulfil all the technical requirements in their request so as to take into consideration the proposed objectives, activities, budgeting and timetable. Moreover, it had also been discussed that there was an improved Excel form for the budget outline, which would help States Parties in the budgeting part of their request to correctly link the budget with the other main components, which was therefore very useful. However, technical problems arising from the use of different computer systems was cited as a possible complication.
220.The delegation of the United Arab Emirates commended the Chairperson for his wise chairmanship, and for the quality of the work so far, adding that excellent results would likely be achieved. The delegation spoke of its intervention expressed in the past on the Representative List and the requests for international assistance. It reiterated that in spite of the efforts deployed by the Committee over the last sessions to overcome these difficulties, it had to come to the realization that the procedural mechanism for international assistance requests was more akin to an exam for Member States to demonstrate how knowledgeable their experts were in putting together a nomination file. It also seemed that files were systematically being rejected. It was aware of the difficulties encountered by the Consultative Body, and that it did not wish to reject the requests, but it also felt that the Body had to always show the very specific way in which it treated the nominations whose outcome was invariably rejection, which obviously did not help the requesting States. The delegation felt that the interventions, especially by the Republic of Korea and Brazil, had expressed most of the Committee’s concerns, and that it had to simplify the process in order to help countries requiring this assistance. It asked the Committee to keep in mind the essential goal, which was to help Member States formulate their requests as best it could. Of course, this did not imply that the Committee should help the States cheat during an exam, but that they should be given the means to do their work and thus the Committee had to find a solution.
221.The Chairperson thanked the United Arab Emirates for its interesting comments, inviting the Secretary to respond.
222.The Secretary expressed that she believed that the Committee was debating a central point in the implementation of the Convention in the very idea of international assistance. She understood the underlying impression that requests received were often rejected given that the two requests under evaluation in the present cycle both received negative recommendations. However, it was recalled that the Chairperson had announced only the day before that during the course of the year the Bureau had approved requests for international assistance under US$25,000. Moreover, thirty requests had been approved since the operation of the Convention began in 2009. The Fund had therefore benefited many States. In addition, the Bureau had approved emergency assistance to Mali for the amount of US$300,000. The Secretary remarked that this situation had already been mentioned in the Secretariat’s report. Indeed, it was not the first year that this concern had been raised. Hence, the Committee’s position in Baku that enabled the Secretariat to provide more technical support for international assistance requests, whether for more or less than US$25,000. She recalled that four requests were currently in progress, and three requests were in the phase of preparation. The Secretary cited the case of Côte d’Ivoire that was first State to benefit from this technical assistance and had already submitted its request. The Secretary therefore believed that there was now a process in place that recognized the problem. The Secretariat also provided longer term support in its capacity-building programme, which integrated international assistance and the notion of the safeguarding plan. The third measure, which was also evoked by the Rapporteur, was the joint nomination form that combined the Urgent Safeguarding List with international assistance, which should help match the requirements of the safeguarding plan with funding, particularly as requests for funding where often unclear, which made it difficult for the Consultative Body to pronounce its position on a recommendation. The Secretary added that the international assistance requests, regardless of the sum requested, were the only mechanisms in which the Secretariat provided its full attention, a sort of ‘luxury treatment’. The Secretary explained that for other nominations that appeared to lack ‘technical information’, the Secretariat would provide some assistance, but for international assistance requests, the Secretariat provided a highly personalized and meticulous review of the entire nomination, often running into five pages of suggestions for improvement. In this way, capacity-building occurred not only during specific workshops but also every time a request was received. In fact, this directly responded to a recommendation of the IOS evaluation that suggested using international assistance as a mechanism for capacity-building. Thus, there were a number of actions underway to improve the situation.
224.The delegation of Jamaica commended the Secretariat on its work and continued support, adding that it had benefited from guidance from the UNESCO Office for the Caribbean, the Jamaican National Commission for UNESCO, as well as from interregional collaboration from partners such as Trinidad and Tobago and Belize with whom it had been involved in regional capacity-building workshops funded through the kind assistance of the Japanese Funds-in-Trust. It was thus grateful for their continued assistance as it further strengthened local and regional capacities to identify and safeguard intangible cultural heritage elements. In the context of the debate, and the comments raised by Brazil, the Republic of Korea, and the Secretary, and from its own experience in its first submission and approval of Marron heritage of the Moore Town in 2008, it understood the sense of being overwhelmed by the processes. Even now, when it had its own collaborative regional workshops, it still found that in discussions with its own local indigenous groups that there was a paucity of information and understanding of how best to interpret and apply for assistance to safeguard elements. The delegation suggested that maybe the Committee should target indigenous populations and create initiatives and workshops so that the communities themselves could be empowered to strengthen their own capacities by becoming part of this process and thus helping to apply for additional assistance. In this regard, it asked for the continued support of its partners to help make this a reality, and so that creating submissions and requesting additional assistance becomes a little less tedious.
225.The delegation of Saint Lucia concurred that the application files were a little overwhelming and complicated for States Parties, and that technical assistance was needed from the Secretariat to get things done in the right way, which was the correct forward. However, in reality this was not solely a problem with international assistance but also the Urgent Safeguarding List, which also received very few nominations. The delegation felt that this was rather astonishing given that during the early period of negotiation, States Parties were told that they needed to adopt and implement the Convention urgently because in every minute in the world intangible cultural heritage was dying. However, once the Convention was implemented and the List was established, intangible cultural heritage ceased to die with few nominations for the Urgent Safeguarding List. Meanwhile, files for the Representative List, which were equally complicated and tedious, proved more popular as States Parties seemed more interested in putting their energy and effort into these files rather than on seeking assistance for safeguarding and capacity-building on the Urgent Safeguarding List. The delegation therefore believed that the whole process was to some extent the Committee’s fault, and that it was its responsibility to know its real priorities.
226.The Chairperson thanked the Rapporteur for her report, proposing to retain comments for discussion later under item 9.b. The Committee was now ready to begin examination of the three proposals based on the methodology as previously explained, and it its responsibility to select the best proposals that met the criteria described in Section I.3 of the Operational Directives, based on the recommendations submitted by the Consultative Body. The criteria P.1–P.9 were presented and projected onto the screen. Submitting State Parties would be given a customary two minutes to present remarks, if desired, once the Committee had made its decision on its proposal. The Chairperson invited the Chairperson of the Consultative Body to present the first proposal.
227.The Chairperson of the Consultative Body presented the first proposal on Safeguarding the carillon culture: preservation, transmission, exchange and awareness-raising [draft decision 9.COM 9.b.1] submitted by Belgium. The art of making music with bells (carillon) is traditionally performed during market and festive days. The programme aims to safeguard carillon culture and preserve its historic components, including the repertoire and instruments, and to ensure the continuity and sustainable development of carillon music. Revitalization efforts include competitions to encourage new arrangements, compositions and genres of music. The programme combines respect for tradition with a willingness to innovate, constantly seeking new ways to safeguard carillon culture in contemporary society. The Body considered that, on the whole, the file provided sufficient information to demonstrate that the preservation of carillon music is at the heart of the programme by focusing on training young musicians, expanding the repertoire, upgrading instruments, as well as creating new performing venues and promoting the practices (P.1). A lengthy debate took place with regard to whether the proposal reflected the principles and objectives of the Convention (P.3), since some members hesitated whether the proposal overemphasized the promotion worldwide of a single element. In the end, the Body was satisfied that the project was about sharing the methodologies and know-how related to the safeguarding of this type of music-making, even though the Body regretted that greater emphasis had not been placed on that aspect. In this regard, the Body wished to emphasize the importance of taking into account the specificity and objectives of the Register of Best Safeguarding Practices when preparing proposals, and a provision was included in the draft decision to this effect. The Body also took note that the programme is implemented with the participation of relevant performers and organizations (P.5) that provided their free, prior and informed consent to the implementation of the programme and to the submission of the proposal. It was also clear from the file that the communities were very willing to disseminate carillon music worldwide (P.7). The Body was also satisfied with the evidence offered to demonstrate the effectiveness of the programme in the development of carillon culture in Belgium and elsewhere, with diversified performance, a large number of interested parties, and an increase in activities and learning opportunities (P.4). The Body was also satisfied that the results of the programme were susceptible to assessment through mechanisms such as the regular submission of reports to the World Carillon Federation (P.8). The information provided demonstrated the programme’s coordinated activities among the different countries through the framework of the World Carillon Federation and in collaboration with international institutions (P.2).
228.Concluding, the Chairperson of the Consultative Body reported that the Body was convinced that the proposed activities of transmission, documentation and promotion, as well as balancing respect for tradition and a willingness to innovate, could serve as an international safeguarding model (P.6), including in developing countries (P.9). However, in the draft decision, the Body drew attention to the need to adapt the programme’s experience to other heritage in other contexts. In light of these reasons, the Body recommended to select ‘Safeguarding the carillon culture: preservation, transmission, exchange and awareness-raising’ as a programme, project or activity best reflecting the principles and objectives of the Convention.
229.With no forthcoming comments, the Chairperson proceeded to the adoption of the draft decision on a paragraph-by-paragraph. With no objections to the adoption of the decision as a whole, the Chairperson declared adopted the Decision 9.COM 9.b.1 to select Safeguarding the carillon culture: preservation, transmission, exchange and awareness-raisingfor the Register of Best Safeguarding Practices.
230.Representative of the delegation of Belgium, coordinator of the file, and carillon player at the University of Leuven, Mr Luc Rombouts, on behalf of the community of Belgian carilloners and carillion enthusiasts in Belgium, thanked the Committee and UNESCO for this great recognition. Mr Rombouts added that this appreciation would encourage the community to continue its efforts in safeguarding the practice of making public music on tower bells, and would inspire it to share experiences with other heritage communities all over the world whether in the domain of music or in other heritage domains. Mr Rombouts spoke of how he would like to play a serenade on bells for the delegates, but that was not practical (given their size) and, moreover, the core value of bell music lies in its public and social character, so it would be best appreciated in the open air. He invited the delegates to visit Belgium to experience the beauty of this music and to feel the connection it builds among people and local communities, even today.
231.With the withdrawal by Hungary, the Chairperson of the Consultative Body presented the next proposal on Creation of a cultural space for safeguarding, development and education in intangible cultural heritage at Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature Park [draft decision 9.COM 9.b.3] submitted by Indonesia. Established to address the threat to intangible cultural heritage posed by widespread migration to urban areas, the Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature Park comprises a lake with miniature islands surrounded by provincial pavilions, museums and recreational units. The pavilions house ethnographic objects, stage performances and training in performing arts, and hold regular public performances of dance, puppetry, drama and music. They also operate training workshops for children in performing arts and handicrafts. On the basis of the information provided by Indonesia, the Consultative Body found that the proposal did not meet most of the selection criteria. The main problem emanated from the fact that the park appeared to result in the folklorization or museumification of intangible cultural heritage and that its activities seem to be divorced from the functions and meaning of the heritage in question that are important for the practitioners. First of all, the programme is oriented mainly to tourist and visitors rather than towards strengthening transmission within communities. The Body was unanimous in thinking that intangible cultural heritage is used here as recreation and entertainment for others, at the expense of meaning to its own practitioners and communities (P.1). The Body acknowledged the programme’s goal of promoting mutual respect and understanding among various communities in Indonesia, which was praiseworthy, particularly given the diversity for which the country is known. The Body, however, thought that the project decontextualized the very practices it presented (P.3). The Chairperson made clear that the problem was not that performances were removed from their original geographical locations, but that the communities were not given the central role in the programme and, in particular, do not seem to control the definition and performance of their heritage in the park (P.5). While it was clear that Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature Park contributed to raising awareness of cultural diversity by attracting visitors and issuing publications, the Body was left unconvinced that the proposal showed effectiveness in safeguarding intangible cultural heritage. If raising awareness was potentially a measure for safeguarding, it was missing a demonstration of how it contributed to the viability of heritage within the communities concerned (P.4) due to the issues of decontextualizing the practices from the communities’ context.
232.The Chairperson of the Consultative Body reminded the Committee that the Operational Directives in paragraph 102 warned against decontexualization of intangible cultural heritage in relation to awareness-raising activities, and this proposal seemed to present a clear case in point. The issue of evaluation also attracted the attention of the Body. It found that the reported external and internal assessments concentrated on visitor satisfaction, without clearly demonstrating the impacts of the Park’s transmission and educational activities on the communities of practitioners or on the viability of elements (P.8); this was considered another example where the proposal was not in line with the spirit of the Register. The Body also wished to have had access to the original sources related to the evaluation, rather than simply being told that experts, who were unidentified in the proposal, had conducted evaluations. The Body understood that the present proposal form did not explicitly invite attachments of this kind, but that this might be a point for future discussion. The Body deemed that the park’s activities were not characterized by the coordination of sub-regional, regional or international safeguarding efforts, given that they are primarily at the national level (P.2). Since the programme also removed the practices from the local context, the Body also considered that it was not well suited to serve as a regional or international model (P.6). Finally, the Body acknowledged that the programme could be applied in developing countries, but noted that the creation of a similar park would require significant financial investment. In light of these reasons, the Body recommended not to select ‘Creation of a cultural space for safeguarding, development and education in intangible cultural heritage at Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature Park’ as a programme, project or activity best reflecting the principles and objectives of the Convention.
233.Having studied Indonesia’s proposal, the delegation of the Republic of Korea believed that Beautiful Indonesia might work as an effective tool to promote and enhance intangible cultural heritage in Indonesia. To better understand this proposal, the delegation drew the Committee's attention to Indonesia’s ethnic and geographical context in which numerous ethnic groups with rich intangible cultural heritage reside on scattered islands that were distant from each other. In this respect, Beautiful Indonesia could be a good first step towards safeguarding Indonesia’s myriad intangible cultural heritage by showcasing the intangible cultural heritage in one place and thereby enhancing visibility, nationally or internationally. However, Beautiful Indonesia might run the risk of decontextualising heritage by removing practices from its social functions and cultural meanings in the communities of practitioners, as pointed out by paragraph 4.a of the draft decision. It was also somewhat sympathetic with the Consultative Body’s view that the proposal did not convincingly demonstrate the positive impact of transmission and education activities on the communities or the practitioners, as reflected in paragraph 4.c. Nevertheless, the delegation suggested that under the Committee’s rules, if allowed, the Indonesian delegation be invited to further explain Indonesia's scheme in the operation of Beautiful Indonesia for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage, including its viability as regards enhancing transmission and education among the communities.
234.The delegation of Greece congratulated the Chairperson for his well performed duties, and also the Secretariat for its thorough work, and the assistance it provided to the Consultative Body. The delegation spoke of its attraction to the proposal by Indonesia, which appeared as an attempt – over the last 30 years – to come to terms with internal immigration and mass migration to the capital that had uprooted people from their traditional environments. It was quite sure that Beautiful Indonesia was not initially conceived as a programme that considered all the sensitivities and crucial concepts of the Convention. However it sought the view of the delegation of Indonesia on the programme as it stood today, now that the Convention had become a very useful instrument to deal with intangible cultural heritage. It was clear that the Beautiful Indonesia programme was conceived at a time when the concepts of the Convention were not fully acknowledged, but the delegation wished to know whether Indonesia had made any modifications to the initial programme, and particularly whether they encompassed the communities’ participation in this programme. With regard to paragraph 7 of the draft decision, the delegation had a question for the Consultative Body regarding its proposal that the Committee recall the necessity to avoid folklorization or the museumification of the intangible cultural heritage. The delegation felt that the use of ‘folklorization’ and ‘museumification’ of intangible cultural heritage was inappropriate as they had negative connotations. Instead, it proposed decontextualization or the ‘freezing’ of intangible cultural heritage, particularly as institutions such as museums were crucial in the Committee’s work, as were folklore studies.
235.The delegation of Brazil concurred that the Indonesian file raised a complex question. It understood the comments made by the Consultative Body in that the Committee had to be very careful in the selection of best safeguarding practices so that it respected the spirit of the Convention. However, in certain parts of the draft decision, it was clear that the Consultative Body had a certain malaise with the proposal by Indonesia, as if it considered that the proposal did not belong within the framework of the Convention. The delegation was very aware of the problems faced by Indonesia in order to preserve its own intangible cultural heritage. It is a country composed of hundreds of islands, and different cultures and languages with different cultural traditions and religions. These people were now leaving the countryside en masse to migrate to large urban centres and this park was at least an attempt by the Indonesian authorities to keep these communities connected to their own traditions. The delegation wished to hear Indonesia’s explanations on some of the comments made by the Consultative Body, especially on the participation of communities and bearers, and how they are involved in this cultural space and manifest their consent. The delegation felt that it was important that the country be allowed to speak to try to demonstrate how this initiative was in line with the spirit of this Convention.
236.The delegation of Bulgaria remarked that some of its observations had already been evoked, but its general assessment was that this nomination had a lot of obvious merits. Nevertheless, the Consultative Body had raised some doubts, namely on two points. Firstly, it found no convincing evidence that the park had implemented safeguarding measures, as defined by the Convention, and secondly, it raised the issue of balance between tourism and transmission activities within the park. The delegation fully relied on the expertise of the Consultative Body, but felt that it would be useful to hear from Indonesia, specifically on these two issues.
237.Taking note of the draft decision, the delegation of Côte d’Ivoire hoped that the floor be given to the State Party to explain how the communities defined and performed their heritage, and how these activities were conducted in the context of the park’s communities. The State Party could also explain how this project reflected the principles of the Convention with regard to the nomination file, i.e. what was the relationship between the way of life of the communities and the social function of the park? And, how do the practitioners and the communities concerned play the main role in the life of the park?
238.The delegation of Hungary emphasized its support to see the proposal inscribed on the Register. It addressed a question to the Rapporteur of the Consultative Body and or the legal adviser as to whether or not the submitting State is allowed to provide new information that was not provided in the relevant documents at the time of the submission of the nomination file. The delegation stated that the general principle of non-retroactivty did not apply, raising also the question of Greece concerning ‘museumification’ and reiterating that the Convention supports the establishment of documentation institutions for the intangible cultural heritage as stated in Article 13.d. As such, it requested the deletion of paragraph 7 of the draft decision and asked for Indonesia to explain how the park’s activities involves safeguarding as defined in the Convention, and furthermore, how the activities contribute to the strengthening and transmission of intangible cultural heritage within communities, besides attracting a large number of visitors.
239.The delegation of Egypt believed that the project presented by Indonesia deserved the Committee’s respect and attention. Since many of the Members had already highlighted the many questions or reservations presented in the report, the delegation asked that Indonesia clarify the points raised on the effect of tourism, the role of the local communities, and how the Miniature Park facilitated the transmission of intangible cultural heritage. It believed that the park also led to a coming together of ethnic communities and cultural groups that represented the great diversity of cultures, languages and ethnic groups in Indonesia. The delegation thus wished to hear from Indonesia on the concerns raised. At the same time, it expressed its respect for the Consultative Body and its observations.
240.The delegation of India remarked that most of the Members had asked the questions it had in mind. Nevertheless, the project presented by Indonesia was appealing. With its large size and with many communities and different cultures, the delegation felt that the park was a very unique concept in which the country had tried to bring together the different cultures in one place to showcase their performances, art and culture. It felt that one of the Consultative Body’s main concerns lay in the fact that the park appeared to serve as an entertainment or amusement park for tourism purposes. It therefore wished to hear more from Indonesia on how the communities controlled the definition and performance of the heritage, and how these activities remained within their community context in the cultural space of the park.
241.The delegation of Congo concurred with the observations and arguments developed by the Members of the Committee, but wished for Indonesia to provide clarification on the reservations raised by the Consultative Body, which it respected, especially as the project itself was very convincing.
242.The delegation of Uganda asked that Indonesia respond to the criteria on social and cultural functions, which may not have been met, adding that it would have been good if Indonesia could clarify – under section 3 of its file – the transfer of information to the younger generation, and to indicate to whom ‘young generation' made reference, i.e. whether they were from the communities or from outside the communities where these cultural practices takes place. The delegation also noticed in the same section that ‘community members’ managed the training centres, and it therefore sought clarity as to who they were, adding that maybe they came from outside the communities where further cultural activities were taking place.
243.Having carefully studied the observations of the Consultative Body, the delegation of Turkey understood the reservations and criticisms, but it also appreciated the efforts and the commitment undertaken by the submitting State, particularly in the safeguarding of cultural diversity that was exposed to the destructive effects of uncontrolled urbanisation. It associated with the remarks of the previous speakers, and it also sympathised with the remarks made by Greece regarding the language employed, as it believed that the Consultative Body should rather use the language of the Convention when defining the issues. The delegation remarked that urbanisation was a reality, a fact of life in our age, which was having an effect all over the world. It therefore realised that the newly emerging megapoles were turning into modern villages, and in terms of migration, the vanishing cultures actually move into these new infrastructurally developed structures. It thus sympathised with several other speakers in that although the project might appear artificial, these State-controlled initiatives to safeguard the diversity of intangible cultural heritage deserved to be looked into. The delegation suggested bringing the issue to the next General Assembly in 2016 so as to find intermediate ways to accommodate these concerns, particularly with regards to nominations to the Register of Best Safeguarding Practices and the Urgent Safeguarding List. In any case, it wished to hear from Indonesia on the subject.
244.The delegation of Uruguay appreciated the efforts and work carried out by the Consultative Body and Indonesia. As with the previous speakers, it also hoped that Indonesia be given an opportunity to explain the main reservations formulated by the Consultative Body, whose opinion it respected.
245.The delegation of Algeria endorsed the statements made by the previous delegations, adding that it welcomed the efforts by Indonesia to present this project, which it wished to see inscribed on the Register. It also wished to thank the Consultative Body for its efforts, and sought an explanation from Indonesia on how the project was funded.
246.The delegation of Kyrgyzstan expressed its sympathy for this file, believing it to be a very good option for developing a new way to safeguard intangible cultural heritage. It also associated with the opinions of the previous speakers to give Indonesia the opportunity to answer the questions, adding that it had two additional questions. First, the delegation remarked that the international activities looked mostly to be conducted at a national level, therefore it wanted to know how they could be transferred to regional and international levels. The second question was addressed to the Chairperson of the Consultative Body. It was mentioned several times that the local communities were not involved in the park’s activity, whereas it was of the opinion that the communities were involved. Thus, it sought clarity on the criteria that enabled it to determine whether or not they were involved.
247.The delegation of Tunisia was convinced of the importance of this project, but it did not feel that enough data had been provided to understand how the park was managed and financed. In addition, it had questions about the social and educational function of the park, adding that it felt that there was insufficient information to determine these functions. It thus wished to ask Indonesia to provide clarification on these issues.
248.The Chairperson invited the Chairperson of the Consultative Body to respond.
249.The Chairperson of the Consultative Body remarked that it was not difficult to be impressed by this park, but he reminded the Committee that, as a Consultative Body, it relied on information found within the file and did not – in any way – evaluate the project itself. He also reminded the Committee that this was a Register of Best Safeguarding Practices, and not just good practices. With regard to the question posed by Greece on the use of the terms ‘folklorization’ and ‘museumifaction’, the Chairperson believed that folklorization was a term used in the texts of the Convention, possibly in the Operational Directives, though this would have to be verified. He agreed with Greece that it was not a good thing to use labels because it could be seen as denigrating institutions of folklore and museums. Still, the Chairperson understood ‘folklorization’ as being a common term in the practice among experts that characterised the bringing together of material for publishing purposes. Museumifiction could refer to a stable form of the museum’s responsibility, i.e. the museum governs the form and not the people who are the practitioners of the forms. In this way, the responsibility is given over to the museum, which is tasked with documenting, and somehow also working with frozen forms, as this was the old practice of museum work. The Chairperson therefore agreed that even though these terms could be a problem, it was not difficult to understand the intended way that they had been employed in the evaluation. The Chairperson did not think that it represented something totally new, adding that it was a characterisation of the phenomenon and not a criterion used in the work. It was noted that many of the comments were unsurprisingly related to community involvement, which was problematic in that the Consultative Body did not find sufficient evidence in the file to determine that the practitioners throughout the many islands of Indonesia had any clear control, or any possibility to influence, how the material was used in the park. This did not mean that it did not happen, but that the Consultative Body could not determine either way, as there was no clear evidence that the safeguarding in the park was reflected back to the communities. The Chairperson was happy to return later to other points that he may have missed.
250.The Chairperson invited Indonesia to respond to the questions and also to explain the information contained in the file. The Chairperson wished to remind the Committee that it was only considering the nomination and not the park itself nor the reality on the ground.
251.The delegation of Indonesia thanked the Committee for the many questions, proposing to go through them in the order of the paragraphs in the draft decision. The first sentence of paragraph 4.a of the decision asked about the safeguarding activities in this park, which the delegation explained could be found in section 1.b of the file. Some of the safeguarding activities included identification, documentation and inventory, and there was a centre for culture that conducted an inventory of traditional music, dance, and so on for the past 40 years, which was open to the public. There were 27 training workshops in traditional dance, traditional music and handicrafts of all the ethnic communities from the 33 provinces in Indonesia, which has also been conducted over 40 years with thousands of students at any one time. In addition, there was a lot of promotion and awareness raising activities in the park, so there were nine types of safeguarding in the park, as defined in Article 2 of the Convention. The delegation emphatically rejected the claim that the park was simply for tourists or that it was like Disneyland, explaining that community members from all over Indonesia conducted the activities within the park. It was noted that it was mostly students from all levels of the education system, from kindergarten to university students, who were participating in the training sessions, which were taught by community members. The park was therefore a culture park, not a tourist park. The delegation remarked that recreation and entertainment was part of performing arts, which was one of the domains of intangible cultural heritage, adding that these communities were very much involved in the definition and control of their heritage, as explained in section 3 of the nomination file.
252.The delegation of Indonesia referred to a remark that the park did not represent the principles of the Convention, remarking that there were five principles of the Convention: safeguarding, guaranteeing respect, raising public awareness, transmission, and facilitating international cooperation. The delegation had already explained ‘safeguarding’, while ‘guaranteeing respect’ was explained in the file. It further explained that people came from the 500 districts of Indonesia to perform or to teach, and they were facilitated to come to the park. In this way, it respected and encouraged them to safeguard and respect the tradition of intangible cultural heritage for when they returned home. Regarding public awareness, this was an on-going exercise for 39 years, as previously explained. With regard to facilitating international cooperation, the delegation conceded that it was mostly a national project, but that there were a few examples given in the file that explained cooperation at the regional, subregional and international level. With regard to decontextualization, the delegation maintained that the park did not decontextualise intangible cultural heritage, rather it recreated the context in a favourable way where intangible cultural heritage was practised and transmitted among communities in an urban context. It agreed with the comment by Turkey that about half the world's population was now living in cities, and thus the traditional context was shrinking and, in many cases, no longer existed. Thus, it was important to have the cultural spaces to safeguard intangible cultural heritage in cities. The delegation reiterated that it was the practitioners and the communities who had the primary role in these activities, and that their social functions and cultural meanings remained intact, which was explained in section 5.a, 5.c and 6 in paragraph 3 of the file. The delegation further explained that all the communities were consulted and were very much involved in the project when it was initially conceived, which was also explained in the file. As regards their involvement, the delegation remarked that the nomination consisted of the words of the communities that were transcribed, and that they had given their free, prior and informed consent, demonstrating their willingness to cooperate. Regarding viability, it was explained that the communities came from the provinces and performed, taught and returned home, which contributed to viability. It was also noted that this was perhaps the first file submitted to have an independent external evaluation, which was requested by the Committee in Baku, conducted by experts from the Republic of Korea, the results of which were provided in the nomination file.
253.The delegation of Indonesia appreciated the comment by the Consultative Body that the programme could be applied to developing countries. Regarding the scale, it was stated in the file that it could be created on a scale suitable to the local context, and that it did not have to be on the same scale as Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature. Regarding the introduction of terms such as ‘folklorization’ and ‘museumification’, the delegation remarked that these terms were not found in the Convention, the Operational Directives or the nomination form, adding that it could only complete the nomination form and could not comply with other things introduced later on. Regarding the question of funding, the delegation explained that it was based on a multi-stakeholder principle. Most of the 5,000 people working there were community members working on a volunteer basis. The provincial governments also helped fund the provincial exhibits, with government ministries operating some of the museums. It was noted that the ministries, other than culture, were involved with the park, as was requested by the Committee in Baku. On behalf of more than 5,000 community members, who were working and conducting their activities for nearly 40 years, the delegation requested the Committee to reconsider its decision.
254.The Chairperson proceeded to the adoption of the draft decision on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis. With no comments or objections, paragraphs 1–3 were duly adopted.
255.The delegation of Hungary submitted an amendment, which had been sent by email.
256.The delegation of Kyrgyzstan also wished to propose an amendment in paragraph 4.d.
257.The Chairperson proposed treating the amendments starting with 4.a, then 4.b, and so on.
258.Raising a point of order, the delegation of Brazil remarked that from the interventions it appeared that many of the Member States were willing to reverse the recommendation by the Consultative Body and select the proposal for the Register of Best Practices. In which case, it would be wiser to first make a decision on paragraph 5, i.e. to decide whether the Committee decides or not to select the proposal, so that paragraph 4 could be adapted or amended accordingly. Otherwise, the Committee would be adapting the paragraphs without knowing the exact outcome.
259.The Chairperson remarked that the proposal was reasonable, but wished to first consult with the other Members of the Committee.
260.The delegation of Belgium believed that the Committee had to carefully examine all the criteria first before reaching a decision, and thus preferred to discuss paragraph 4 before paragraph 5.
261.The delegation of Congo believed that the key was whether to select the proposal or not for registration, and therefore the proposal by Brazil made sense.
262.The delegation of Namibia seconded the proposal by Brazil, supported by Congo.
263.The delegation of Côte d’Ivoire supported the proposal by Brazil.
264.The delegation of Kyrgyzstan also supported the proposal by Uganda and Brazil to select.
265.The delegation of Nigeria also endorsed Brazil’s proposal.
266.The delegation of Latvia supported the comments by Belgium, adding that the order was first to understand whether the criteria were met before taking a final decision. It took this opportunity to contribute to the general debate by very much welcoming the proposal by Indonesia to the Register of the Best Safeguarding Practices in order to exchange the approaches applied to safeguarding intangible cultural heritage. However, it also referred to the register as being one of best safeguarding practices, which ought to have a truly convincing consensus reflecting the spirit of the Convention, while representing an exemplary safeguarding practice. The delegation also fully respected the competences and expertise of the Consultative Body, elected by the Committee, and its recommendation. Moreover, it was noted that, during the debate within the Committee, there were numerous issues raised in which additional explanations were required from the submitting State. As the Committee had already been reminded (by its Chairperson and the Chairperson of the Consultative Body), evaluation was based solely on the information found within the file, and as the file – if approved – would be made broadly visible as a best practice without the additional explanations provided by Indonesia, the delegation supported maintaining the overall evaluation as proposed by the Consultative Body.
267.With no additional comments, the Chairperson sensed a favourable trend to accept the proposal by Brazil.
268.The delegation of Belgium remarked that this would be a huge precedent, as this had never happened before. It recalled earlier remarks in which it was said that consistency and credibility go hand-in-hand, and therefore sought to proceed logically as always, which was to first examine the criteria before coming to a decision.
269.The Chairperson noted that there were two approaches, adding that there was also logic in the argument presented by Belgium. He suggested that if the Committee agreed, it could proceed with the traditional methodology, but that it would support a consensus.
270.The delegation of Congo did not see how it was possible to correct the criteria only to arrive at a negative decision. First, the Committee had to state whether it was for or against the selection of the project. If the Committee chose to select the project, then the criteria would be corrected accordingly.
271.The delegation of Saint Lucia suggested a compromise in which the Committee continued to debate the criteria, and thus arrive at a position for or against selection without yet dealing with the decision on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis. In this way, both positions would be dealt with more thoroughly, which would eventually determine whether the Committee was leaning towards selection or not.
272.The Chairperson felt that proposal might be accepted, but would first listen to Brazil.
273.In an effort to allay the concerns on first analysing paragraph 5, the delegation of Brazil explained that its suggestion was made to clarify the debate, because in effect the Committee was discussing paragraph 4.a without knowing where it would lead, i.e. whether it would accept the amendment or adapt the text. Thus, it was uncomfortable with the lack of clarity. It was clear that Members in favour of accepting the proposal by Indonesia would wish to edit paragraph 4, while Members who were not in favour would not wish to accept the amendment. Meanwhile, Members that were neutral were placed in an awkward position because the outcome was unclear. Thus, there was need for clarity, at least to gauge the tendency among the Members, i.e. whether the Committee was going to select the proposal, and if not, was it going to revert to the recommendation by the Consultative Body, in which case there would be no point in editing the draft decision should the decision in paragraph 5 remain the same. This would only waste many hours because the Committee would be discussing a text without knowing why it was changing it or not, as there was no clarity in the final decision.
274.The delegation of Bulgaria found that the two proposals by Brazil and Belgium were justified in different ways, both with their merits. However, it did not wish to set a precedent, inviting the Secretariat to clarify the position on the issue, i.e. whether it was a precedent and was acceptable in terms of the functioning of the Committee or not.
275.The delegation of the Belgium agreed that it did not want to waste time, but felt that there was still room for debate, adding that clarity in the answers should be contained within the submitted file. The exercise of checking every criterion was in order to find the answer in the submitted files in the right place. The Committee should take the time to evaluate the file criterion-by-criterion to find the answers in the file, which would enable it to come to a decision. It was thus inappropriate to state a positive or negative opinion before careful examination of the file, for which the Committee had time.
276.The Chairperson invited the Secretary to pronounce a position on the issue.
277.The Secretary confirmed that the Committee and its bodies had never reached a conclusion before first examining the criteria, as the conclusion resulted from the criteria and not the other way around. The Committee did not therefore decide in advance whether or not to inscribe; each criterion would first be checked and that would lead to the conclusion. In the case of the Lists, the conclusion would be automatic because just one rejected criterion would result in a negative outcome. However, for the Register of Best Practices, not all ten of the criteria had to be met, as they were not necessarily eliminatory. Concluding, the Secretary concurred that the criteria must be evaluated one-by-one, as examined by the Body, and that the opinion on each criterion formed the conclusion, which was how the Committee always worked.
278.The delegation of Brazil thanked the Secretary for the explanations, adding that it was right that the decision would come from the verification of the criteria. However, the Committee had asked many questions precisely to clarify its understanding about the criteria and Members had already made up their minds on whether the criteria were satisfied or not. The delegation simply wished to avoid unnecessary debate on every criterion by suggesting a smoother and easier methodology, especially since Members had already asked questions and read the report, and therefore had decided for or against selection of the project. Nevertheless, should the Committee wish to go through the editing exercise and debate the criteria, the delegation would accept its decision.
279.Having heard the explanation by Brazil, the delegation of Turkey intended to join the quorum.
280.The Chairperson wished to listen to the different approaches on this issue, asking whether the Committee agreed with the amendment to its procedures as proposed by Brazil. It was noted that nine delegations supported the proposal, which was insufficient to change the procedure. Thus, the Committee would proceed with the evaluation of the draft decision on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis. The Chairperson then turned to paragraph 4.a and the amendment by Hungary, which read: ‘The programme’s activities involve safeguarding as defined in the Convention in all five domains of intangible cultural heritage. The intangible cultural heritage training workshops in particular contribute to strengthening intangible cultural heritage transmission within communities.’ Noting that there was no support for the amendment, the original paragraph 4.a was adopted. With no amendments paragraphs 4.b and 4.c were duly adopted.
281.The delegation of Kyrgyzstan presented an amendment in paragraph 4.d, which read: ‘The cultural space is primarily on a national level, but is open for international cooperation and could contribute to collaboration on sub-regional, regional or international levels.’
282.The Chairperson noted the amendment on the screen, inviting the Committee to express its support for the amendment.
283.The delegation of Ethiopia supported the amendment by Kyrgyzstan.
284.The Chairperson noted that Egypt, Brazil, Greece, Nigeria, India, Congo and Bulgaria also supported the amendment. However, a broad support was not reached and the original paragraph 4.d was adopted. The Chairperson then moved to paragraph 5.
285.Referring to the decision in paragraph 4.d, the delegation of Brazil remarked that it was UNESCO practice to accept an amendment whenever it was supported by a sufficient number of Members, unless other Members vocally opposed the amendment. The delegation explained that eight Members had supported the amendment by Kyrgyzstan, with none of the Members opposing the amendment, and yet it had not been accepted. The delegation was fine with the decision, but understood that the Committee did not require 50% plus 1 Members in order to adopt an amendment, because it was not voting for the amendment, only proposing it.
286.The delegation of Saint Lucia remarked that as has been explained in previous sessions and can be read in the summary records, the practice of this Committee was to remain silent if it agreed with the recommendations of the Consultative Body. It had thus acted accordingly.
287.The delegation of Congo remarked that the Committee was not voting, and that nine countries had supported the amendment in paragraph 4.c. Consequently, the Committee did not adopt the original paragraph, even though it was required to take into account the views of those who endorsed the proposal by Kyrgyzstan.
288.The delegation of Hungary agreed with the Members who raised this issue and wished to go through the paragraphs once again, adding that its own amendment had been deleted because of the rule of silence. The procedure was therefore unclear for the Committee, and consequently the decision was unclear as well.
289.The delegation of Turkey endorsed the remarks by Congo.
290.The Chairperson invited the Secretary to provide her opinion.
291.The Secretary explained that it was up to the Chairperson to sense the general mood of the Committee, adding that Congo was right to say that when a voting process had begun, the voting procedure should be formally announced by the Chairperson with votes counted for and against, as well as abstentions, among those present and voting. However, in this case, it was not a formal vote, as the Committee was looking to find if indeed an amendment, proposed by a Member of the Committee, had garnered sufficient support. As noted by Saint Lucia, it has been the Committee’s practice that – by default – the draft decision presented by the Chairperson of the Consultative Body is accepted. An amendment to this draft decision must have strong support from the Members of the Committee if it is to be accepted. But the notion of broad support was subjective, i.e. it was not a mathematical calculation, and the Chairperson had to determine whether there was broad support or not for a proposed amendment.
292.The Chairperson was of the opinion that nine Members of the Committee did not constitute broad support for the amendment. He then turned to paragraphs 5 and 6, and with no comments or objections, they were duly adopted. He then turned to paragraph 7.
293.The delegation of Hungary proposed to delete this paragraph because it did not see any association between museumification and the park.
294.The delegation of Brazil spoke of a recent meeting funded by Brazil that argued for the new roles of museums in the world, which would be presented as a recommendation at the next UNESCO General Conference. As such it was against paragraph 7 that criticised museums, and therefore supported the amendment by Hungary.
295.The delegations of Belgium and Turkey also supported the deletion of the paragraph.
296.The Chairperson invited Members of the Committee to pronounce their support for the proposal.
297.The delegations of Algeria and Egypt also supported the deletion of the paragraph.
298.The delegation of Bulgaria also joined the other Members in supporting the deletion.
299.The Chairperson noted the broad support to delete paragraph 7, which was duly adopted. With no objections to the adoption of the decision as a whole, the Chairperson declared adopted Decision 9.COM 9.b.3. not to select ‘Creation of a cultural space for safeguarding, development and education in intangible cultural heritage at Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature Park’for the Register of Best Safeguarding Practices.
300.The delegation Turkey remarked that since paragraph 7 was deleted with overwhelming support from the Committee, it also wished to delete the same words from the recommendations of the Consultative Body in the earlier texts.
301.The Chairperson replied that the text had already been adopted, but should the Committee agree with the proposal, the Secretariat could act accordingly. As there was general agreement, the paragraph was also deleted. The Chairperson invited Indonesia to speak.
302.The delegation of Indonesia expressed deep sadness and disappointment, adding that this was the second time in two years that its nomination file had been rejected, adding that the communities who had supported the file would also feel sad. It found the format of the draft decision to be unfortunate in that it was not specific to the criteria, but rather it was presented in the form of nine prose paragraphs, which mentioned many different aspects, in which the criteria were scattered. The delegation suggested that the draft decision in the future be presented using the separate criteria so that the Committee could very clearly evaluate the criterion in question. As an Asian country, it did not wish to publicly criticize, however, it hoped that the new Evaluation Body in the next cycle would have a more just and fair evaluation process, and deal with the information found in the nomination file rather than introducing other things that cannot possibly be fulfilled by the submitting State because they were not contained in the nomination form. Nevertheless, Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature Park would continue its work. The delegation recalled the comment from the United Arab Emirates, which highlighted the large number of rejections: almost 51 per cent of files over the last four meetings, particularly from the Asia-Pacific region with 60 per cent, 59 per cent from Africa, and 83 per cent from the Middle East. This continual rejection was starting to make it difficult for States to justify governments supporting the activities of the Convention, as it led to disappointments and sadness. The delegation spoke of its deepest respect for the Members of the Committee, the Secretariat and the Consultative Body who had worked hard according to their capacity and the instructions they received.
303.The Chairperson thanked Indonesia for its statement, inviting the Secretary to make a few announcements.
304.The Secretary announced the meetings of the NGO working groups and the information meetings on the capacity-building programme for Electoral Groups V(a) and (b).