ESTABLISHMENT OF THE EVALUATION BODY FOR THE 2015 CYCLE
909.The Chairperson thanked the Subsidiary Body and then turned to item 11.
910.The Secretary explained that the item was a direct consequence of the amendment of the Operational Directives, modified by the General Assembly at its fifth session in June 2014, which introduced an Evaluation Body on an experimental basis to carry out the evaluation of nominations for inscription on all four mechanisms of the Convention. The Evaluation Body is to be established in conformity with Article 8.3 of the Convention and is to be composed of 12 members: six qualified experts in the various fields of the intangible cultural heritage, representing six States Parties non-members to the Committee, and six accredited NGOs (among those accredited at the time of the composition of the Body). The Committee is to appoint the 12 members by taking into account equitable geographical representation and the various domains of intangible cultural heritage. The Committee is invited to adopt the terms of reference of this Body, as outlined in Annex 1 of document 11, including its mandate and duration of one year, as it would be renewed each year. The Committee is also invited to name the six experts and six accredited NGOs who will compose the Evaluation Body: two from each Electoral Group, one expert and one NGO. The Secretary recalled that – in accordance with the Operational Directives – the candidates had been proposed by States Parties, with the Chairperson of each Electoral Group tasked to send to the Secretariat up to three candidates for each category. The Secretariat had reminded all States Parties to the Convention of this new provision in the Operational Directives, inviting them to submit names of experts and to suggest accredited NGOs that could serve in the Evaluation Body and to transfer all nominations to the Chairpersons of the UNESCO Electoral Groups.
911.The Secretary further explained that the selection was made on the basis of a maximum of three candidates in each category from those sent to the Secretariat from each Electoral Group. It was recalled that the Secretariat also wrote to the Chairpersons of the Electoral Group, reminding them of the role entrusted to them in the Operational Directives to ensure that they receive and forward the candidatures to the Secretariat by the 13 October deadline. The candidates proposed from the each Electoral Group were outlined in Annex 2 with hyperlinks to the experts’ resumes and to the websites of the accreditated NGOs, which currently numbered 178. Once the 12 members of the Evaluation Body were selected, the Committee would be asked to establish a rotation system of the seats, as this was the first time the Evaluation Body would be established, so that three seats would be renewed every year, as provided in paragraph 28 of the Operational Directives. The Committee was therefore required to first to adopt the terms of reference of the Evaluation Body and then it had to select the 12 members and decide on the rotation plan.
912.The Chairperson proposed to proceed in the order outlined by the Secretary, informing the Committee that he had the opportunity to discuss these points with members of the Bureau who agreed that the most effective system in the selection of the new members of the Evaluation Body was to proceed by secret ballot. He also recalled that he had proposed this procedure during the information meeting organized on November 3 for members of the Committee who agreed. The Chairperson acknowledged that the Rules of Procedure of the Committee currently provided that elections were normally carried out with a show of hands (Rule 39.1) or by roll call (Rule 39.2), and that it did not provide for a secret ballot. However, as this was a general agreement, the Chairperson considered suspending the application of Rule 39 of the Rules of Procedure, and that the Committee proceed on the basis of Rule 15 of the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly concerning the election of members of the Committee. The Chairperson would therefore suspend Rule 37 of the Committee’s Rules of Procedure, as the members of the Body would not be elected by simple majority but by the highest number of votes. The Chairperson suggested that the Secretariat be asked to propose an amendment to the Rules of Procedure at the Committee’s next session in order to introduce a new provision for secret ballots. The Chairperson noted that the Committee agreed with this approach. Regarding the introduction of the rotation system, the Chairperson remarked that the Bureau also agreed that drawing lots would be the fastest and most equitable method. Before commencing with the practicalities of this method, if the Committee should so agree, the Chairperson proposed to begin with the examination of the Evaluation Body’s terms of reference, which were taken from paragraphs in the Operational Directives and the Rules of Procedure, as shown in Annex 1.
913.The Chairperson proceeded on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis. Having adopted all the paragraphs on the terms of reference, the Chairperson turned to the adoption of the terms in their entirety, which was duly adopted. He then asked the Secretary to shed some light on the procedure for the secret ballot.
914.The Secretary explained that the Secretariat would distribute to the Committee Members six ballots, one for each Electoral Group and an envelope. Each Committee member shall vote for the 12 members of the Evaluation Body, and not just for those from the group to which it belonged. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes in each category and in each Electoral Group would be elected. In the case of NGOs in Groups III and Group V(b), where there was only one candidate, the candidates would be declared elected without having to resort to a vote. Each ballot carried the names of all the candidates in the Group. Committee Members were thus invited to circle the names of the candidates for whom they wished to vote in the six ballots. As explained, for Group III and Group V(b), Members were not required to vote for the NGO, as there was only one candidate. Members were asked not to circle more names than the number of seats in the Electoral Group, otherwise, the vote would be considered invalid. Committee Members would then fold the ballot papers and place them in the envelope, sealing it without marking any name or country. The absence of a circle for a seat would also be considered an abstention for that seat. A 5-minute break would be called to allow Members to vote, followed by a roll call of Committee Members to the podium for the vote.
915.The delegation of Belgium remarked that that this was a new era for the still young Convention, adding that the new Evaluation Body was being established for the first time and was thus a very important moment. The delegation seized this opportunity to renew its appreciation to all Members of the Committee and all the States Parties in the General Assembly that had made this possible, with special thanks to the delegation of Brazil that had facilitated and assisted in finding this solution during the Committee’s session in Baku. It also wished to thank the experts and NGOs that had served both in the Subsidiary Bodies and Consultative Bodies, and encouraged the new candidates to do as well as their predecessors. It also wished to remind the Committee that elected members would act impartially and in the interests of all States Parties and the Convention, calling upon the Members to carefully reflect on choosing the best candidates. It was also important to strike a good balance between, on the one hand, having experienced people within the Evaluation Body, and on the other, to ensure that new people were coming into the Evaluation Body with new energy and expertise. The delegation concluded by wishing all the candidates the best of luck.
916.The delegation of Turkey asked the Secretary to clarify the status of States Parties in the Evaluation Body if that country was elected to the Committee.
917.The Secretary recalled that the question had been raised at the time of adoption of the Operational Directives at the General Assembly in which it was decided that should a State Party wish to appoint an expert to the Evaluation Body who was elected on a 4-year mandate, then logically it should not serve in the Committee. However, if a State Party, by drawing lots, served only a 1-year term and the seat would be renewed, then the State Party could present its candidature to the Committee at its next election. Thus, the situation would depend on the mandates of the various experts appointed, but generally-speaking from the time an expert was mandated to serve in the Evaluation Body, its country should not run for election to the Committee as this would render the two positions incompatible.
918.The Chairperson asked for two volunteers to serve as tellers among the Members of the Committee. Saint Lucia and Hungary volunteered and were invited to join the podium. The Chairperson gave Members five minutes to circle the names of their preferred candidates.
919.After a five minute pause the Chairperson invited the Secretary to make the roll call so as to collect the ballots from each delegation.
920.The Secretary noted that the following Members had voted: Afghanistan, Algeria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Greece, Hungary, India, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Mongolia, Namibia, Nigeria, Uganda, Peru, Republic of Korea, Saint Lucia, Tunisia, Turkey, and Uruguay. The sole Member absent was Egypt. The Secretary called Egypt a second time, and the session was momentarily suspended in order to count the ballots.
921.Following the pause for counting, the Chairperson was pleased to announce that the ballots had been counted, and the results were as follows:
922.Electoral Group I – Ms Amelia Maria de Melo Frazão Moreira (Portugal): 12 votes (elected); Mr Henricus Smeets (Netherlands): 11 votes; Fundacion INATEL: 7 votes; Dutch Centre for Folklore and Intangible Heritage: 9 votes (elected); The Foundation for Traditional Music and Dance: 7 votes.
923.Electoral Group II – Ms Kristiina Porila (Estonia): 8 votes; L’ubica Vol’anská (Slovakia): 5 votes; Mr Saša Srećković (Serbia): 10 votes (elected); Czech Ethnological Society: 9 votes; International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM): 14 votes (elected).
924.Electoral Group III – Mr Carlos Hernández Soto (Dominican Republic): 2 votes; Ms Celia B. Toppin (Barbados): 5 votes; Mr Victor Rago (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela): 16 votes (elected); Association of Friends of Brazilian Folk Art - Casa do Pontal Museum, as the sole NGO proposed, would also join the Evaluation Body.
925.Electoral Group IV – Ms Masami Iwasaki (Japan): 14 votes (elected); Mr Nguyen Ti Hien (Viet Nam): 4 votes; Mr Siri Neng Buah (Malaysia): 5 votes; Oral Tradition Association: 0 votes; China Folklore Society: 13 votes (elected); Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation: 10 votes.
926.Electoral Group V(a) – Mr John Moogi Omare (Kenya): 10 votes; Mr Olabiyi Babalola Joseph Yai (Benin): 3 votes; Mr Sidi Traoré (Burkina Faso): 10 votes [it was noted that owing to the same number of votes, a second vote would be taken between Mr John Moogi Omare of Kenya and Mr Sidi Traoré of Burkina Faso]; Centre for Heritage Development in Africa (CHDA) : 8 votes ; Organisation pour la promotion des médecines traditionnelles (PROMETRA) : 6 votes ; The Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda: 9 votes (elected).
927.Electoral Group V(a) – Mr Ahmed Skounti (Morocco): 15 votes (elected); Ms Annie Tohmé Tabet (Lebanon): 5 votes; Mr Hani Hayajneh (Jordan): 2 votes. The Syria Trust for Development, as the sole NGO proposed, would also join the Evaluation Body.
928.The Chairperson congratulated the new Members of the Evaluation Body and thanked all the candidates whose applications were submitted to the Committee. The Committee would determine the term of office for each member in tomorrow’s session. The session was adjourned.