7.Thanking the Secretary, the Chairperson turned to item 2 and invited the Secretary to introduce the agenda items.
8.The Secretary explained that the provisional agenda included 19 items, some of which contained sub-items therefore there were in reality 30 items for discussion on the relatively rich agenda. It was recalled that the items were either related to the Committee’s Rules of Procedure, such as the ‘Adoption of the agenda’, or a Committee decision to address a particular issue discussed at a previous session, or they responded to the Operational Directives, such as the items on Lists and the inscriptions. All working documents had been published within the statutory deadline of 27 October 2014, four weeks before the opening of the session. The latest version of the list of documents could be found in document INF.2.2 Rev.3, which was only published recently due to addendums resulting from the withdrawal of nominations for example. The Secretary then explained the coding system of the documents, i.e. all documents began with ITH (for intangible cultural heritage), 14 referred to 2014, 9.COM referred to the ninth Committee Session, and the final number corresponded to the item on the agenda. Documents ending with ‘INF’ referred to information documents and ‘Rev’ implied that revisions had been made to the documents. For example document 7 on ‘Voluntary supplementary contributions to the ICH Fund’ was revised following an additional contribution made after the date of publication to allow the Committee to accept both donations and not just the one originally planned. It was recalled that the session would last for five days, and that the Bureau had adopted the provisional timetable (INF.2.2 Rev.3) when it met on 13 October 2014. It was also noted that the timetable would be revised according to the advancement of the debates, though no changes would be made if the Committee stayed on schedule. The sessions would begin daily at 9.30 am and end at 1 pm, and resume at 3 pm and end at 7 pm. The Secretary then outlined the schedule, beginning with the adoption of the agenda, the admission of observers, the adoption of the summary report of the Committee’s previous session, followed by two interventions that were not strictly speaking items on the agenda: the Chairperson’s report on the activities of the Bureau and the Report of the NGO Forum. This would be followed by agenda items 5.a (Examination of the reports of States Parties on the implementation of the Convention and on the current status of elements inscribed on the Representative List) and item 5.b (Examination of the reports of States Parties on the current status of elements inscribed on the Urgent Safeguarding List). The day’s session would end with the agenda item 5.c (Reports of States Parties on the use of international assistance from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund); agenda item 6 (Report by the Secretariat on its activities); and agenda item 7 (Voluntary supplementary contributions to the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund), with two additional voluntary contributions to the fund; and lastly agenda item 8 (Report on the audit of the governance of UNESCO and dependent funds, programmes and entities).
9.The Secretary further explained that Tuesday would be dedicated to the inscriptions, preceded by agenda item 13.d ‘Evaluation of the implementation of previous decisions of the Committee in connection with the inscription of elements, selection of proposals to the Register of Best Safeguarding Practices, and approval of requests for International Assistance’, as requested by the Committee in Baku. This would be followed by agenda item 9 and the report of the Consultative Body on its work in 2014 and the recommendations by the Consultative Body on the inscriptions to the Urgent Safeguarding List, the Register of Best Safeguarding Practices, and International Assistance. This would be followed by agenda item 10 and the examination of inscriptions to the Representative List, which would likely involve significant media interest and take up the whole day, if not more, depending on the length of the discussions. Thursday morning would thus be dedicated to agenda item 11 and the establishment of the new Evaluation Body for the 2015 cycle, with agenda item 12 ‘Number of files submitted for the 2015 cycle and number of files that can be treated in the 2016 and 2017 cycles’, for which the Secretariat would provide an overview of the current status. Thursday afternoon would begin with agenda item 13.a and the draft amendments to the Operational Directives on periodic reporting, on safeguarding intangible cultural heritage and sustainable development in agenda item 13.b, and the reflection on the referral option, the subject of item 13.c. Friday morning would be dedicated to a number of agenda items, which were not expected to require much discussion since they were rather updates and points of information. Agenda item 14 would be dedicated not to the accreditation of non-governmental organizations, as none would be proposed in the present session, but rather on the evaluation of accredited NGOs in light of the evaluation of their contribution to the Committee’s work. Finally, on Friday afternoon, the Committee would be asked to decide on the date and venue of the tenth Session of the Committee (agenda item 15), as well as the new members of the Bureau (agenda item 16). Other issues might also be discussed (agenda item 17), if required, and the Committee would end the session by adopting the list of decisions (agenda item 18). The Secretary concluded by reminding the Bureau that it would meet every day before the day’s sessions, which was also open to observers.
10.Thanking the Secretary for the introduction, the Chairperson turned to the adoption of the agenda and document 2, with the provisional timetable (document INF.2.1), and the provisional list of documents (document INF 2.2 Rev.), adding that the timetable was susceptible to be altered by the Bureau, as explained. With no forthcoming comments, the Chairperson declared Decision 9.COM 2 adopted.