NUMBER OF FILES SUBMITTED FOR THE 2015 CYCLE AND NUMBER OF FILES THAT CAN BE TREATED IN THE 2016 AND 2017 CYCLES
Decision 9.COM 12
1039.The Chairperson then moved to agenda item 12, inviting the Secretary to take the floor.
1040.TheSecretary explained that document 12 addressed two issues: i) the experience of the implementation of Decision 8.COM 10 for nominations to the 2015 cycle, whose number was set at 50; and ii) the Committee’s decision on the number of files to be processed in the 2016 and 2017 cycles, knowing that the 2015 cycle began in March 2014 with the nominations received already being treated. With regard to the 2015 cycle, the Secretary recalled that the Committee decided to set this number to 50 nominations, and had also decided in its decision that efforts be made to treat at least one nomination file per country during the 2015–2016 biennium. By 31 March 2014, there were 218 admissible nomination files for the 2015 cycle, of which 56 new nominations and 162 nominations that constituted the backlog, i.e. files submitted in the previous cycle but were not yet processed due to progressive limitations on the number of nominations. As a result, States submitting multiple files were asked to prioritize their nominations. The 50 nomination files were thus treated in accordance with the priorities established in paragraph 34 of the Operational Directives. Priority was granted to submitting States with no inscribed elements, no Best Safeguarding Practice selected, no International Assistance of more than US$25,000 granted. The second priority comprised multinational files, and the third priority comprised the remaining nomination files in descending order of the number of inscriptions, i.e. the States with only one inscription would be considered first, followed by those with two inscriptions, three inscriptions, and so on. It was noted that document 12 provided a summary of the implementation of these priorities, which were as follows: the first 14 files treated from the 50 files submitted came from States with no inscriptions to date, of which two were multinational files and nine were nominations to the Urgent Safeguarding List, which were not necessarily submitted by non-represented States as, owing to their urgent status, these nominations were granted priority regardless of the number of State inscriptions.
1041.The Secretary further explained that the second priority comprised seven multinational files, which was in addition to the two multinational files where at least one of the submitting States did not have an inscription, and which was therefore included in the first category of non-represented States. Thus, there were seven multinational files in the second category, which together totalled 30 nomination files. The remaining files was counted from the ascending order of the number of elements previously inscribed, with the ceiling of 50 nominations reached with the nomination from Indonesia, i.e. States that had seven inscribed elements to date. There were therefore 11 States Parties whose nominations did not receive priority in the current cycle; however, they would receive priority in the 2016 cycle thanks to the decision in Baku. Thus, there were already 11 nominations in the 2016 cycle. The Secretary wished to inform the Committee of significant delays in processing the 50 nominations, explaining that the 50 accompanying letters requesting additional information should have been finalized by 30 June 2014, but there were 20 nominations yet to complete. The Secretariat would do its utmost to catch up; as it was clear that the new Evaluation Body would require assistance and that the nominations had to be ready, especially as some States would resubmit revised nominations. Document 12 also included a table in paragraph 9 that compared the files submitted to previous sessions of the Committee and those expected in the coming sessions. It was noted that the tenth session would be particularly full, given the evaluation of applications for accreditation of NGOs, which were not treated this year, as well as the review of the NGO accreditations already granted that must be reviewed every four years. With regard to the cycle 2016–2017, the Committee was called upon to confirm the overall number of nominations to be treated in 2016, and to decide – as was done last year, and every year – a figure for the two years. As this was done in Baku for the 2015 cycle and the cycle in 2016, the Committee, a year later, had to confirm the figure for the 2016 cycle, and set the figure for 2017, while taking into consideration the current context at UNESCO and the Secretariat in particular. Finally, paragraph 7 of the draft decision contained the text of Decision 8 COM 10, i.e. it confirmed the principle that at least one file per submitting State be treated in the period of two years, that is to say from 2016 to 2017.
1042.The Chairperson opened the floor for comments.
1043.The delegation of Latvia expressed its sincere appreciation of all the work carried out by the Secretariat, and it admired the quality and professionalism it experienced every day. Concerning the renewal of relations with NGOs, as outlined in the document, the delegation asked the Secretariat how it would cope with the 97 upcoming reports from NGOs for the year 2015, followed by the 59 reports in 2017.
1044.The Secretary replied that it would be the subject of agenda item 14, as this item covered the accreditation and evaluation of NGOs.
1045.The Chairperson then turned to the adoption of the draft decision on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis. With no comments or objections, paragraphs 1–10 were duly adopted. With no objections to the adoption of the draft decision as a whole, the Chairperson declared Decision 9.COM 12 adopted.
1046.ITEM 13.a OF THE AGENDA:
DRAFT AMENDMENTS TO THE OPERATIONAL DIRECTIVES ON PERIODIC REPORTING
Decision 9.COM 13.a
1047.The Chairperson moved to agenda item 13. It was noted that there were eight sub-items identified 13.a to 13.h, and the Committee would start with 13.a.
1048.Mr Proschan explained that the item arose from the evaluation conducted last year by the Internal Oversight Service, which called for revisions in the Operational Directives concerning periodic reporting. The Committee then took up the IOS recommendations in Decision 8.COM 5.c.1, Decision 8.COM 6.a and Decision 8.COM 14.b, which focused on making the reports more impact-oriented and results-oriented rather than narratives of different activities. It also gave greater prominence in the reporting to questions of policy and legislation at the national level, and complemented the reports by including information provided by relevant NGOs. The revisions proposed to chapter 5 of the Operational Directives, included in the Annex to document 13.a, therefore drew upon the specific language of the Convention and the Committee’s decisions last year, and clarified several of the existing Directives on periodic reporting that were vague. In several cases, the previous versions used language that took a short cut rather than repeating precisely the language of the Convention, and so the Secretariat attempted to hew the specific language of the Convention itself, clarifying the directives that abbreviated or shortened things in a way that might not be clear. Minor revisions were also proposed in paragraphs 152, 161 and 169 of the Operational Directives to echo the language used elsewhere in the Directives concerning the nomination forms and NGO accreditation forms, trying to copy similar language whenever referring to the forms used for different purposes.
1049.Mr Proschan further explained that paragraph 166 proposed to reflect the current practice for the Committee’s working documents, which were made available online for public consultation and by the Committee and other States Parties as they were received. In the case of the periodic reports, they were online generally four to six months prior to the Committee meeting in order to draw attention to them and bring about care, which was suggested in the Committee’s decisions during the present session regarding correspondence and possible alterations in the text to ensure conformity with the spirit and letter of the Convention and of the UN Charter and its resolutions. In the initial document presented, the Secretariat had proposed to delete paragraph 167. However, based on the Committee’s discussions earlier in the morning, the Secretariat proposed to keep the paragraph unchanged for now to allow time for this new process of correspondence and mediation to take effect. The Secretariat effectively retracted its previous suggestion to delete paragraph 167. The Committee was also reminded that it had requested the Secretariat to revise the periodic reporting forms, along the same lines as reflected in paragraph 168. The Secretariat had thus prepared revised forms that would be finalized immediately after the present session to reflect other comments that might be introduced at this time, which would be sent to all the States concerned with the 2016 cycle on 15 December 2014. It was noted that some 40 or 50 States were required to submit reports in the coming year, so that on 15 December they would all receive the reports according to the Committee’s initial view of the draft directives being presented.
1050.The delegation of Belgium wished to review the following notions included in the amendments to the Operational Directives. Firstly, the delegation referred to the notion of concrete measures put in place at the national level cited in paragraph 151, explaining that the term ‘national’ was perhaps too restrictive to some States Parties, just as the concept of general policy – repeated in paragraph 153(b)i – could refer to national policy and therefore might not necessarily reflect the working methodology applied by States Parties with regard to diversity on the ground. Thus, the delegation wished to delete these notions of general and national policy. Also in paragraph 151, the delegation questioned the feasibility of measuring long-term impacts and results of the concrete measures put in place. Finally, it commented on the scope of the term ‘gender’ used in paragraph 157(a) and paragraph 162, adding that it could apply in a masculine or feminine sense, but it could also include children, as was shown in the present session, and thus provide a wider scope in a spirit of equal opportunity for all individuals involved in intangible cultural heritage. The question of gender thus reinforced the idea of the widest possible participation of communities, groups and individuals, and therefore should be moved to the main text of paragraph 157.
1051.With no further comments, the Chairperson turned to the adoption of the draft decision on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis. He began with Belgium’s amendment in paragraph 151 of the Operational Directives, and with no comments or objections, it was duly adopted. He then moved to paragraph 152.
1052.Regarding the ICH-10 form, the delegation of Belgium explained that there were some sections in the form that didn’t allow for elaboration on specific issues, namely, in section B, the measures taken to implement the Convention: B.1.a, the competent bodies for safeguarding; B.1.b, institutions for training; and B.1.c, documentation institutions. It was noted that these three sections had been limited in the current version to 250 words, and the delegation wished to have more space to help elaborate on the issues.
1053.The Chairperson concurred that it was a good suggestion, but first turned to the adoption of paragraph 152, which was duly adopted. He then turned to paragraph 153 with the amendment by Belgium, and with no objections, it was duly adopted. He then turned to paragraphs 154, 155, 157, 160 and 161, which were duly adopted. Then paragraph 162, with the proposal by Belgium.
1054.The delegation of Afghanistan sought clarification in the paragraph where it was cited ‘roles and responsibilities of gender’, adding that the role of gender was understandable but the responsibilities of gender in practice did not seem clear.
1055.The delegation of Belgium concurred that it was not clear and thus proposed to delete ‘responsibilities of gender’.
1056.The Chairperson then returned to amended paragraph 162, which was duly adopted. Then paragraphs 166, 167 and 168, which were duly adopted.
1057.With no objections to the adoption of the decision as a whole, the Chairperson declared Decision 9.COM 13.a adopted.