1077.Thanking Kyrgyzstan for its comment, the Chairperson moved to agenda item 14, inviting Mr Proschan to provide information on this item.
1078.Mr Proschan recalled that Article 9 of the Convention provided that the Committee shall propose to the General Assembly the accreditation of Non-Governmental Organizations to act in an advisory capacity to the Committee. To date 178 such organizations have been accredited. At the present time, the Secretariat had 31 active requests for accreditation that were submitted either in 2014 or unfinished from 2013. Due to the limited capacity of the Secretariat, it was unable to treat those requests in a timely manner. It therefore proposed to present those requests together with those received next year to the Committee in 2015. The Secretariat wished to reassure NGOs and the Committee that this delay would in no way affect the actual accreditation process, as the NGOs must be accredited by the General Assembly that would meet in June of 2016. The Committee could perhaps adopt, as a regular practice, to examine accreditations only in odd-numbered years, immediately preceding the meetings of the General Assembly in even-numbered years, thereby reducing the duration and the agenda of Committee meetings, as welcomed in Decision 8.COM 5.c.2. The draft decision suggested that the Committee might wish to invite the Secretariat to prepare a revision to the Operational Directives to reflect those changes. The second issue within this item concerned the review of the first 97 NGOs accredited in 2010, which was the subject of resolution 3.GA 7. Paragraph 94 of the Operational Directives foresaw that every four years, the Committee reviewed the contribution of the advisory organizations and its relations with it, taking into account the perspective of the NGO concerned. Mr Proschan recalled that in conformity with Decision 7.COM 16.b, the Secretariat had prepared a draft review form, which had been presented to the Committee at its eighth session. That form was subsequently amended by the Secretariat to take into consideration the Committee’s debates during its eighth session and was accordingly sent to the 97 NGOs that were subject to the first round of renewal on 22 October 2014. The NGOs were required to return the request for the reports to the Secretariat by 15 January 2015. The Secretariat would therefore analyse those reports and submit recommendations to the Committee in 2015 with regard to maintaining or terminating the relations with that first set of 97 NGOs. The draft decision therefore asked the Committee to take note of the present circumstances and, if it so wished, to move towards regularizing the examination of the accreditation only in odd-numbered years. It also asked to take note of the procedure and schedule for the review of the first 97 NGOs.
1079.The delegation of Namibia remarked that it was aware that non-governmental partners were very important stakeholders in the implementation of the Convention, although in some cases, NGOs had different approaches to the government in conducting their business. However, it was clear, especially in Namibia, that all were on the same page when it came to safeguarding intangible cultural heritage. With that in mind, it congratulated the NGOs that were accredited during the fifth session of the General Assembly this year. However, in light of the decision taken earlier on the presentation of NGOs for the Evaluation Body, the delegation was of the view that more needed to be done to ensure that NGOs partners in the under-represented regions also gained the necessary skills and competences to be accredited. This plea went to both the Secretariat and the Member States. One way of doing this could be through the creation of peer-to-peer platforms for sharing information and experiences. The delegation supported the proposal by the Secretariat for the Committee to examine NGO accreditation only in odd-numbered sessions, but it was sceptical of the impact it would have on the work of the Secretariat, as this would not necessarily reduce the number of requests submitted for examination.
1080.With no further comments, and with no objections to the adoption of the decision as a whole, the Chairpersondeclared Decision 9.COM 14 adopted. The Chairperson gave the floor to the representative of the NGOs.
1081.On behalf of the NGO Forum, the Representative looked forward to the first round of evaluations of the 97 NGOs accredited in 2010. However, the NGO Forum regretted the deferral of new accreditations, reiterating that accreditation strengthened the capacity of NGOs to contribute to the implementation of the Convention in the world. The NGO Forum was likened to a broom in that the more brushes it contained, the more effective it would be. The addition of new NGOs would therefore help achieve the objectives common to all, as was recalled in the debates of agenda item 11 [Establishment of the Evaluation Body for the 2015 cycle]. Furthermore, the NGO Forum had discussed and shared experiences on the evaluation process of NGOs and felt that an interesting option could be the organization of capacity-building training session on the accreditation process, which could be organized at the regional scale. Finally, given the international reach of the NGO Forum, it hoped that consideration be given to NGOs that worked in conflict zones and other difficult regions. This perspective would amplify the work of NGOs because ‘one hand can certainly make noise but one hand cannot clap’.
1082.ITEM 13.c OF THE AGENDA (Cont.):
REFLECTION ON THE REFERRAL OPTION FOR THE REPRESENTATIVE LIST OF THE INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE OF HUMANITY
1083.The Chairperson thanked the Representative for his comments, and returned to the unfinished agenda item 13.c, giving the floor to the Secretary.
1084.The Secretary presented the proposed amendment in paragraph 6, which read: ‘Decides that the referral option should be extended to the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding’. In this way, all the mechanisms would be treated equally. Paragraph 7 would remain unchanged, as the Committee agreed that the amendment should include the deletion of paragraph 37, and the elimination of the 4-year waiting period. Paragraph 8, would read: ‘Requests the Secretariat to propose a draft text of amendments to the Operational Directives accordingly concerning the points in the present decision and reflecting its debates during the present session, for examination by the Committee at its tenth session.’ Thus, the draft decision would maintain the instruction to the Evaluation Body in paragraph 9, which would read: ‘Considers that the referral option should be used in the case of information lacking in a nomination, whether it be of a technical or substantial nature’, which enlarged the notion of referral while maintaining the existing ‘no’. The Operational Directives reflecting these changes would be proposed at the Committee’s tenth session.
1085.The Chairperson thanked the Secretary and turned to the adoption of the draft decision on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis. With no comments or objections in paragraphs 1–5, they were duly adopted. Paragraph 6, with the amendment by the Secretariat, was duly adopted. Paragraphs 7–10 were also pronounced adopted. With no objections to the adoption of the decision as a whole, the Chairperson declared Decision 9.COM 13.c adopted.
1086.The Secretary made a couple of announcements on the meetings of the NGO working group and the information session on capacity-building for Electoral Groups I and II.