The Chairperson returned to item 8 and the adoption of Decision 7.COM 8. He was pleased to note that from the seven nominations examined, four had been approved, of which two were from Africa. The Chairperson reminded the Committee that the decision addressed several transversal issues relating to nominations to the Urgent Safeguarding List in general and not any nomination in particular. Meanwhile, issues common to the different lists would be addressed in draft decision 7.COM 7.
With no comments forthcoming, the Chairperson turned to the paragraphs of the draft decision and pronounced paragraphs 1 and 2 adopted.
The delegation of Morocco wished to correct a grammatical errorin the French version.
The Chairperson continued with paragraphs 3–6, which were duly adopted.
The delegation of Peru suggested a paragraph that drew attention to potential assistance in the preparation of files for those elements that were not inscribed.
However, since the text of the amendment had not been submitted, and with no objections, the Chairperson declared adopted Decision 7.COM 8.
ITEM 9 OF THE AGENDA:
EXAMINATION OF PROPOSALS FOR SELECTION IN 2012 TO THE REGISTER OF BEST SAFEGUARDING PRACTICES
Decision 7.COM 9
The Chairperson recalled Article 18 of the Convention by which the Committee shall periodically select and promote national, subregional and regional programmes, projects and activities for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage best reflecting the principles and objectives of the Convention. Altogether, there had been eight Best Safeguarding Practices already selected; three in 2009 and five in 2011. This year, both China and Mexico identified their proposals to Best Safeguarding Practices as their priority files for examination in 2012, and the Chairperson thanked them for prioritizing this important mechanism, adding that three other States had also decided to prioritize this mechanism in the 2013 cycle. The Chairperson then suggested to proceed to the examination in the same manner as the Urgent Safeguarding List, starting with the presentation by the Rapporteur on the work of the Consultative Body, followed by the examination of the proposals, and finally, the overall adoption of Decision 7.COM 9. The Chairperson reminded the Committee of the nine criteria by projecting them on the screen, as found in paragraph 7 of the Operational Directives.
The Rapporteurof the Consultative Body remarked that the Consultative Body appreciated the decision by the two submitting States to grant priority to the Register of Best Safeguarding Practices, but regretted that a larger number of proposals had not been received in 2012. The Consultative Body wished to reiterate its 2011 message to the submitting States and to the communities associated with proposals that its recommendation not to select a proposed programme or project did not imply that it was not a good practice. The Body had to decide which programmes constituted best practices that could serve as models for other communities and States Parties, particularly in developing countries. Like its predecessor, it did not seek uniqueness but rather exemplary safeguarding programmes that were inspirational. Even though almost any programme might serve as a model, in order to be considered as a Best Safeguarding Practice, there should be convincing evidence provided by the submitting State. The criteria for the Register of Best Safeguarding Practices are not all obligatory, and the Consultative Body understood its task, as in 2011, to recommend those programmes, projects or activities that most fully responded to the largest number of criteria. Nevertheless, certain criteria seem to have an obligatory character such as P.1 (‘The programme, project or activity involves safeguarding, as defined in Article 2.3 of the Convention’), P.3 (‘The programme, project or activity reflects the principles and objectives of the Convention’), criterion P.5 (‘implemented with the participation of the community, with their free, prior and informed consent’), or criterion P.6 (‘The programme, project or activity may serve as a subregional, regional or international model for safeguarding activities’). Criterion 4 that the Consultative Body identified as obligatory in its 2011 report again proved to be decisive in this cycle, requiring that the programme ‘has demonstrated effectiveness in contributing to the viability of the intangible cultural heritage concerned’, which was considered together with criterion P.8 (‘The programme, project or activity features experiences that are susceptible to an assessment of their results’). Indeed, in evaluating the efficacy of a safeguarding programme, the Consultative Body sought to use not only quantitative but also qualitative indicators. As in the previous cycle, this requirement seemed to exclude programmes with a short life cycle.
The Rapporteur continued that the Consultative Body had lengthy and very interesting discussions on criterion P.9 (‘The programme, project or activity is primarily applicable to the particular needs of developing countries’), regarding what the ‘particular needs of developing countries’ might be. The Consultative Body also sought to discover whether the capacity of a programme to meet those needs should be measured in terms of financial resources and the potential of its approaches to inspire. It ultimately agreed that in either case the State Party concerned had not sufficiently engaged the question of how its experience could be useful to developing countries, as requested in the proposal form. Finally, criterion P.2 (‘The programme, project or activity promotes the coordination of efforts for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage on regional, subregional and/or international levels’), which although desirable was not obligatory, as it was evident that most proposals submitted concerned programmes that were implemented at the national level and thus did not satisfy criterion P.2. Thus, the Consultative Body concluded that the selection criteria were not well-adapted to the goal of identifying Best Safeguarding Practices. In particular, the criteria did not lend themselves to clearly distinguishing a good safeguarding practice from a best safeguarding practice. It believed that the difficulties faced by its members in applying the selection criteria was also experienced by the submitting States when they drew up their proposals. The Consultative Body therefore proposed in the draft decision 7.COM 9 that the Committee might wish to reflect on whether the existing criteria adequately distinguishes best safeguarding practices from a larger number of good safeguarding practices.
The Chairperson thanked the Rapporteur for the thoughtful presentation that sought to distinguish best safeguarding practices from good safeguarding practices, and noted that the Consultative Body had underscored the need to consider the adequacy of the selection criteria. He suggested that the Committee return to the general decision after the examination of the two proposals.
Congratulating the Consultative Body and the Secretariat for the quality of their work, the delegation of Morocco drew attention to paragraph 13 of the working document on the application of criteria, noting that the task of identifying Best Safeguarding Practices could have been facilitated with a higher number of proposals to compare, which was difficult in this cycle with only two proposals. The delegation wondered therefore whether the application of criteria should be applied in the absolute terms regardless of the number of proposals, or whether there should be a larger number of proposals for the application of the criteria.
The delegation of Latvia thanked the Consultative Body for its work, but regretted the small number of proposals submitted, noting that the mechanism was underrepresented within the Convention. The delegation supported a study of the application of the criteria as well as the difficulties faced by States Parties in preparing proposals.
The delegation of China expressed appreciation of the efforts by the Secretariat and the Consultative Body. The delegation remarked that the goal of the Register was to encourage States Parties to propose programmes that promote good practices and international cooperation, while considering the needs of developing countries in particular. It noted paragraph 7 of the Operational Directives that states, ‘the Committee shall select those that best satisfy all of the following criteria’, which was unlike the criteria for the other two lists that had to be all satisfied, and which had thus posed difficulties to the Consultative Body in distinguishing the best from the good. It also noted that this cycle was the first time the new nomination form ICH-3 had been applied and that States Parties had also encountered the similar difficulties in elaborating the proposals. The delegation hoped that the evaluation of the effectiveness of the safeguarding measures reflected in the good practices was an ongoing process, adding that according to Art. 18 of the Convention and paragraphs 42–46 of the Operational Directives, the Committee should encourage research and evaluation of the effectiveness of the safeguarding measures after their selection for the Register. Thus, it was important that the selected proposals will serve to inspire States Parties and communities in developing their own safeguarding measures in other contexts. The delegation noted that only 8 proposals had been selected by the Committee so far when States Parties needed a broad range of good practices to help develop their safeguarding measures at the national level and so promote international cooperation. The delegation therefore sought a more inclusive mechanism, and agreed with the Consultative Body on the necessity of greater reflection on the adequacy of the selection criteria to distinguish best from good practices.
The delegation of Brazil thanked China and Mexico for their interesting programmes and the Consultative Body for its good work, adding that Best Safeguarding Practices was very much in line with the Convention as a means for information and knowledge-sharing, and lesson-learning. The delegation remarked that Brazil would continue to prepare proposals, having already presented five proposals, of which two had already been selected for the Register. It agreed that States Parties should be encouraged to submit proposals, suggesting that the periodic reports could serve as a way of identifying programmes of potential interest to the Register. The delegation spoke of the diverse realities of developing countries, to which a one-size-fits-all approach could not be applied, suggesting that caution should be exercised when applying criterion P.9. The delegation asked the Secretariat to explain what would be done to a programme after its selection to the Register, since the selection was not an end in itself and could be used to share information and learn from one another.
The delegation of Japan commended the Consultative Body for its excellent work and Mexico and China for their constructive contributions to the Register. The delegation remarked that the register not only promoted safeguarding practices through awareness-raising but also provided other communities with very useful information by sharing successful experiences, and therefore regretted the small number of proposals. One of the merits of the mechanism was that it did not necessarily accompany access to the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund and was thus a very cost-effective tool that could be better utilized for information sharing. From the report, the delegation noted that the Consultative Body considered the criteria as being ill-conceived and therefore supported the idea of reflecting on them.
The delegation of Belgium drew attention to paragraph 46 of the Operational Directives, suggesting that the Committee make greater use of the directive.
Congratulating the Consultative Body for its report, the delegation of Nicaragua remarked that improvements could indeed be made in the evaluation process, noting the Consultative Body’s concerns regarding the criteria. The delegation therefore agreed with the Body’s recommendation to revise Chapter I.37 of the Operational Directives to improve the process of selection of proposals in the future. With regard to P.9, the delegation noted that there were no guidelines in the Operational Directives to help determine the needs of developing countries, as required in P.9. For example, how can new strategies in documentation, community participation, safeguarding measures or funding be identified as being most useful for and applicable in developing countries.
The delegation of Grenada thanked the Consultative Body for its observations, and agreed with Nicaragua that the needs of developing countries were difficult to define, and differed from one developing country to another, as highlighted by Brazil. However, the delegation recalled that the Convention not only addressed developing countries but also developed countries where the most endangered elements were often found as a result of modernity and the disinterest of youth. The delegation also supported the initiative to reflect on possible amendments to the selection criteria.
The delegation of Uganda congratulated China and Mexico for submitting files to the Register. It noted the Consultative Body’s regret about the low number of submissions, yet stated that quality should take precedence over quantity given the time limitations for examinations and the limited resources of the Body. The delegation also requested that the Consultative Body highlight aspects of the proposals that could benefit other States Parties to learn.
Taking note of the proposal to revise the criteria, the delegation of Indonesia recalled the first debate on the subject in Nairobi, which took the form of a circular consultation, followed by an open-ended working group that focused mainly on the criteria of the Urgent Safeguarding List and the Representative List. At the time, States Parties did not feel it was necessary to revise the criteria. The delegation remarked that the nomination forms closely follow the articles of the Convention and the Operational Directives, and had become clearer with every revision. Having submitted two nominations to the Register of Best Safeguarding Practices, the delegation remarked that it had not experienced problems with the current criteria and cautioned against hasty revisions that would only exacerbate the workload and time spent understanding new criteria.
The delegation of Peru drew attention to paragraph 4 of the Operational Directives in which the Committee could call upon proposals, asking that the Committee take into account successful nominations to the Urgent Safeguarding List that could be used thereafter as a benchmark for Best Safeguarding Practices.
The Chairperson opened the floor to observers. With no comments forthcoming, the Chairperson turned to the two questions posed by Morocco and Brazil addressed to the Chairperson of the Consultative Body and the Secretariat.
In response to the question by Morocco on the criteria and the evaluation of Best Safeguarding Practices, the Chairperson of the Consultative Body remarked that in its evaluation the Consultative Body had highlighted Best Safeguarding Practices as examples to be shared with the world. In this regard, the aim of selection was not to have infinite numbers of examples but rather best practices that had proved their success and worthy results. When assessing the proposals, the Consultative Body sought not best practices better than others but those with the certainty of successful implementation to serve as real and applicable models. The Chairperson also referred to Nicaragua’s comment in which the Consultative Body considered the ways how Best Safeguarding Practices could be best adapted to the specific needs of developing countries. She remarked that the importance was that a submitting State should consider what aspects of its own programme could be adapted to other developing countries.
The Chairperson then turned to the question by Brazil addressed to the Secretariat.
The Secretary concurred with Brazil on the special nature of the mechanism, especially since a programme, and not an element, is inscribed on the Register, and also because the work of the Committee did not cease at the selection of the proposal: the Committee had to promote the selected Best Safeguarding Practices. In order to help this task and thanks to the ICH Fund, some promotional activities had already begun – one related to the Indonesian batik museum and the other to the Fandango’s Living Museum – aiming at researching and collecting materials to help understand why these programmes were successful and how the results could be evaluated. In addition, the brochures published by the Secretariat explained more of Best Safeguarding Practices for the purpose of promotion, compared to the elements inscribed on the Lists, while a special promotional website would be developed for the mechanism of Best Safeguarding Practices. The Secretary agreed with Brazil that the mechanism did indeed reflect the real spirit of the Convention in seeking to share successes. With regard to the small number of submissions, it reflected the reality that States could only select one priority nomination from all the mechanisms in a given cycle. For this reason, the Secretary wished to acknowledge the positive choice made by Mexico and China in presenting their proposal.
The Chairperson remarked on the stimulating discussion, and suggested turning to the examination of proposals using the same methodology as for item 8.
The Chairperson of the Consultative Body introduced the first proposal on Strategy for training coming generations of Fujian puppetry practitioners [draft decision 7.COM 9.1] submitted by China. Fujian puppetry is a Chinese performing art consisting mainly of string and hand puppetry. In response to new threats to its transmission, concerned communities formulated the 2008–2020 strategy for the training of future generations of Fujian puppeteers to enhance its sustainability through professional training, the compilation of teaching materials, the setting up of performance venues, public awareness, regional and international cooperation, and artistic exchange. The Consultative Body concluded that the proposal responded well to several criteria: the programme aims at formalizing the process of transmission by training young puppeteers and by raising public awareness through formal and non-formal education, and it contributes to strengthening the transmission and preservation of Fujian puppetry in accordance with the objectives of the Convention, and thus satisfied criteria P.1 and P.3. Criterion P.4 was also satisfied in that the proposal had demonstrated the effectiveness of its strategy, for example, through the training of a number of practitioners, the twelve new training centres, and the establishment of a database. The same applies to P.6 as the programme could serve as a safeguarding model for traditional performing arts, especially those from Asia, even if they did not have an international reach. This strategy attracted widespread participation of practitioners, local people and institutions in the development and implementation of the project, as required in P.5, with many willing to cooperate in the promotion of the programme if selected as a best safeguarding practice, as required in P.7. Despite the positive aspects, the Consultative Body concluded that the proposal did not sufficiently meet the criteria in its entirety. Indeed, it found that the proposal was submitted before the programme had matured in that the strategy began in 2008 while the proposal was submitted in early 2011. Although the proposal cites several international exchanges prior to the strategy, it did not clearly demonstrate how the programme helped in coordinating safeguarding efforts at the international level, as required in P.2. Similarly, the case presented some evaluation measures that had not yet been conducted, but could be performed in the future. These assessments were essentially quantitative and did not adequately address the issue of its impact on the safeguarding of puppetry for the communities of Fujian, as required in P.8. It was also noted that the strategy had been successful in terms of number of students, but more concrete information was sought regarding its effectiveness to safeguard the element so that the programme could serve as a safeguarding model. With regard to P.9, the proposal did not adequately describe how it satisfied the needs of developing countries. In particular, the Consultative Body sought more information on how such a large-scale strategy could be adapted to the context of a country with limited financial resources. The Consultative Body therefore concluded that the strategy had been submitted too prematurely to serve as a best practice model, even if it was said to be very interesting.
The Chairperson opened the floor for comments and opinions.
The delegation of Indonesia reiterated thanks to the Consultative Body for its detailed analysis. With regard to international coordination and exchange, the delegation spoke of China’s recent participation in an international puppetry festival in Indonesia, which had contributed towards international cooperation, asking China to elaborate further. The delegation also sought a clearer explanation from China on the quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the programme written in the proposal, adding that quantitative assessment could be easier to define than qualitative assessment. With regard to the observation that the large-scale programme might not be relevant to developing countries, the delegation replied that with China being one of the biggest countries in the world this did not mean that smaller countries could not apply the same strategy on its own scale. The delegation drew attention to paragraph 10 of the report that read, ‘Other members considered that developing countries without comparable resources could nevertheless take inspiration from a high-budget programme and adopt some of its components or approaches’, which suggested that the financial scale of the programme should not be a deciding factor.
The delegation of Brazil turned to the three criteria that had not been satisfied. With regard to P.2, the delegation noted that the proposal mentioned a number of international festivals and interesting international exchanges, thus satisfying the criterion. With regard to P.9, the delegation also made reference to China’s great size, adding that other countries could nonetheless get some inspirations from the methodology. Moreover, despite the size of its economy, China was still considered a developing country and thus the project proved in itself that it was viable in a developing country context. With regard to P.8, the delegation sought more information from China on the quantitative and qualitative assessments carried out over the past four years and those that would be carried out in the future.
Puzzled by the recommendation by the Consultative Body, the delegation of Latvia believed that the stated lack of qualitative results was in fact debatable and thus sought an explanation from China in this regard. Moreover, the delegation saw potential in the nomination and suggested that China be given the opportunity to revise the nomination rather than reject the proposal.
With regard to P.2, the delegation of Morocco believed that safeguarding efforts occur at different levels and that ‘regional’ efforts was equally accountable in criterion P.2, not least because the criterion cites ‘regional, subregional and/or international levels’ in addition to the fact that the nomination also clearly demonstrated international efforts. With regard to P.8, the delegation drew attention to the criterion ‘the programme, project or activity features experiences that are susceptible to an assessment of their results’, which suggested that an assessment of the results could occur at a later date rather than already having had been carried out at the time of the file’s submission. With regard to P.9, the delegation drew attention to the criterion ‘the programme, project or activity is primarily applicable to the particular needs of developing countries’, which did not imply exclusively and could therefore be addressed to all countries regardless of their economic context. The delegation thus explained its interpretation of the criteria, different to the one explained by the Consultative Body, and stated that China should not be penalized in this regard.
The delegation of the Czech Republic was pleased that China had submitted its interesting proposal, but believed that the three-year project period was too short to assess the impacts and sustainability of the programme, as it was uncertain what would happen with the practitioners in 5–10 years. In this regard, the delegation believed that qualitative assessment was very important and a best practice model should have clearly demonstrable results that proved its success. It encouraged China to continue the programme in order to submit it as Best Safeguarding Practice at a later stage.
The delegation of Japan congratulated China for its proposal. With regard to the three criteria the Body found not sufficiently satisfied, it noted the Body’s attribution of non-satisfaction of the quantitative and qualitative requirements to the short life of the programme. The delegation wished to hear from China to clarify the qualitative aspects of the programme.
The Chairperson noted that the issue of quantitative and qualitative assessment of the programme required some clarification, thereby asking China to clarify on the assessments carried out so far. Additionally, the Chairperson sought an explanation with regard to the short life of the programme as well as its international activities of cooperation.
With regard to P.8, the delegation of China admitted that it had been somewhat confused when elaborating the proposal as the nomination form had asked that past and future qualitative and quantitative assessments should be mentioned, adding that it had chosen the more future oriented approach. The delegation explained that the training strategy in the programme had first been formulated in 2006 with the primary assessments carried out in 2007, namely, the identification of the inheritors, evaluation and incentive mechanisms though competitions, and surveys and questionnaires that were sent to over 100 communities and schools. As a result, 16 traditional bearers were identified as representative inheritors and more than 30 individuals were awarded for their professional competence. These activities had considerably raised awareness of puppetry art, especially among children. The delegation also believed that the qualitative results had been presented whose strategy had greatly promoted inter-generational transmission of the art through school education and apprenticeships, and troupe training. With regard to international cooperation, the delegation spoke of the Quanzhou Puppetry Troupe that in 2005 had been approved as the United Nations South-South Cooperation Network Puppetry Art Demonstration Base, which since 2007 had performed and conducted academic activities internationally in more than 30 countries in cooperation with puppetry groups from other countries. The troupe had also accepted artists from more than ten developing countries, including 300 puppetry students who came to Fujian to learn the art and puppet-making skills, and had thus widely contributed towards regional and international cooperation in puppetry arts.
Having listened to the Consultative Body, the Committee members and the submitting State, the Chairperson then turned to the draft decision on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis. With no comments or objections, the Chairperson pronounced paragraph 1 adopted.
The delegation of Indonesia proposed to examine paragraph 2 sub-paragraph by sub-paragraph.
The Chairperson read the sub-paragraphs for each of the criteria. With no change proposed, sub-paragraph P.1 was adopted.
With regard to sub-paragraph P.2, the delegation of Morocco proposed deleting the second part of the sub-paragraph, which read, ‘however, it is not clearly demonstrated how the current programme promotes international coordination’. The delegations of Japan, Kyrgyzstan, and Egypt supported Morocco’s proposal.
The delegation of Brazil also supported Morocco, with a slight amendment to the first part that would read, ‘the programme has continued earlier examples […]’. The delegation of Spain fully agreed with Brazil and Morocco.
Seeing the consensus of the floor, the Chairperson declared adoption of sub-paragraph P.2 as amended. With no change proposed, sub-paragraphs 3–7 were adopted.
With regard to sub-paragraph P.8, the delegation of Grenada noted that despite the explanations given by China, the Consultative Body had stated in its report that evidence had not been provided by the submitting State in the file. The delegation recalled that the Committee had agreed that no additional information during a debate should be introduced into the file, since questions to the submitting State should serve only to clarify information already provided and the Committee heard the State Party clarify information. Moreover, the delegation drew attention to the different interpretation of P.8 in the French version of the nomination form compared to the English version8 with regard to requested information from the State Party. Consequently, China had responded to the requirement as stated in the English version, while the Consultative Body sought information as described in the French version. Consequently sub-paragraph P.8 should be amended.
The delegation of Indonesia proposed an amendment to sub-paragraph 8, which would read, ‘The proposal has provided some evidence that assessment has been conducted during the four years of the programme’s existence, and a set of assessment measures is proposed for the future’.
The delegation of Czech Republic agreed with the first part of the amendment, but wished to retain the last part of the original sentence.
The delegation of Spain supported Indonesia’s proposal, adding that the submitting State had first submitted the nomination in 2006 and provided additional information on the work that had taken place since.
The delegation of Brazil echoed Spain remarks in support of Indonesia’s amendment. Additionally, it requested the Secretariat to correct the French version of the nomination form, as earlier highlighted by Grenada. The delegations of Egypt and Morocco also supported the amendment.
The delegation of the Czech Republic sought to amend the last part of the sentence to, ‘however, the qualitative results have not been provided’. The Chairperson remarked on the apparent contradiction with the first part of the sentence.
The delegations of Latvia, Kyrgyzstan and Namibia also supported Indonesia’s proposal.
The delegation of Burkina Faso returned to the remarks by Grenada concerning additional information provided by the submitting State, which should refer to information already contained in the file. It therefore asked the Consultative Body the question as to whether there was evidence in the file that both qualitative and quantitative assessments had been carried out.
With regard to the questions addressed concerning first, international coordination, the Chairperson of the Consultative Body conceded that there was evidence of active participation of puppetry troupes in international events. However, in contrast to the Committee’s understanding that such international participation implied coordinating efforts to safeguard the element, the Chairperson explained that the participation as presented in the file did not imply such coordinated safeguarding efforts. With regard to P.8, the question raised by Burkina Faso, the Chairperson remarked that there were no qualitative assessments given in the file, while the impacts of the strategy on safeguarding the element were not sufficiently demonstrated. The Chairperson explained that the Strategy was a very active programme with many merits, but as a top-down strategy it ran the risk of supplanting the social fabric of the puppetry community that formed the foundation of the puppetry, transforming the form of transmission through the establishment of formal State schools. The Consultative Body therefore thought that qualitative assessments on the impact of such State-led activities on the heritage originally expressed by families and small groups in small local communities and on the continuity of that heritage would have been important; and therefore, qualitative, more than quantitative assessments were needed, stating the safeguarding of the element in its initial form. This therefore was the concern of the Body, which wished that the assessments be made before this programme is adopted as a model to be followed by the rest of the world.
Having listened to the Consultative Body and Committee members, the Chairperson sought concrete proposals from the floor in an effort to move forward.
The delegation of Grenada acknowledged some information was lacking in the file, but suggested deleting the references to qualitative and quantitative while encouraging the submitting State to provide the information in a subsequent revision. With regard to Brazil’s request, the delegation pointed out that the English version, and not the French version, of the proposal form should be corrected.
The delegation of Morocco agreed with Grenada to keep sole mention of assessment measures, while adding a paragraph that encouraged the State to carry out qualitative assessments, as proposed by the Czech Republic.
The Chairperson read out the amended text: ‘The proposal has provided evidence that assessment has been conducted during the four years of the programme’s existence, and a set of assessment measures is proposed for the future.’ With no further comments, sub-paragraph P.8 was adopted.
With regard to sub-paragraph P.9, the delegation of Indonesia remarked that the large-scale of China’s proposal reflected its size, and suggested replacing the current sub-paragraph with the following: ‘The programme could be applicable to developing countries by taking inspiration and adopting some of its components or approaches’, adding that the text was borrowed from paragraph 10 of the Consultative Body’s report.
The delegation of Brazil believed that the proposal had demonstrated social awareness of puppetry, and that the methodology could be replicated in developing countries. It therefore supported Indonesia’s proposal, proposing to add: ‘The programme provides a methodology that could be applicable […]’. The delegation of Japan supported the Brazil’s amendment.
The delegation of Grenada also supported the amendment by Indonesia and Brazil, but suggested replacing ‘adopting’ with ‘adapting’. With no further comments, sub-paragraph 9 was adopted as amended.
The Chairperson then turned to paragraph 3. The delegation of Indonesia proposed deleting ‘not’, which would become, ‘decides to select’, which was duly adopted. There was no change to paragraph 4, which was duly adopted.
With regard to paragraph 5, the delegation of Indonesia proposed deleting ‘not yet’, which would become, ‘the programme is sufficiently proven’, while deleting, ‘even if its viability and potential are nevertheless recognized as good examples that may be of interest to other countries’.
The delegation of Belgium proposed deleting the entire paragraph 5. The delegation of Grenada supported Belgium’s proposal, as sub-paragraph P.9 of paragraph 2 sufficient covered this aspect. The delegation of Egypt and Brazil supported Belgium’s proposal, which was duly adopted.
With paragraph 6 now becoming paragraph 5, the delegation of Spain suggested amending the text to read, ‘both in quantitative as well as qualitative terms’. The delegation of Grenada and Morocco supported the proposal by Spain. With no further comments, paragraph 5 was adopted as amended.
The delegation of Spain proposed to amend the new paragraph 6, which would read, ‘Further invites the State Party to continue to consider how the programme could serve as a model to developing countries’.
Considering the previous amendments adopted, the delegation of Burkina Faso suggested deleting the entire paragraph 6, taking the opportunity to thank China for submitting its nomination to the Register of Best Safeguarding Practices. The delegations of Egypt and Madagascar supported Burkina Faso’s proposal. The delegation of Spain withdrew its amendment. With no further comments, paragraph 6 was deleted.
With no further comments, the Chairperson declared adopted Decision 7.COM 9.1 to select the Strategy for training coming generations of Fujian puppetry practitioners for the Register of Best Safeguarding Practices.
On behalf of the local community and the Fujian puppeteers, the delegation of China extended its gratitude to the Consultative Body and the Secretariat for their tremendous efforts, adding that it valued the comments and suggestions put forward, which would be incorporated in future safeguarding measures. The delegation believed that its selection would not only contribute to safeguarding and sustainable development but also inter-generational transmission, and it reaffirmed its ongoing commitment to the safeguarding measures in the spirit of the Convention.
The Chairperson of the Consultative Body introduced the next proposal on Xtaxkgakget Makgkaxtlawana: the Centre for Indigenous Arts and its contribution to safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage of the Totonac people of Veracruz, Mexico [draft decision 7.COM 9.2] submitted by Mexico. The Center for Indigenous Arts was designed as a response to a long-term desire of the Totonac people to create an educational institution to transmit their teachings, art, values and culture. The structure of the centre represents a traditional settlement comprising house-schools, with each ‘House’ specialized in one of the Totonac arts for apprentices to follow, such as pottery, textiles, paintings, and the art of healing. The transmission of knowledge is integral and holistic. The Consultative Body concluded that the proposal responded well to the majority of the criteria. In criteria P.1 and P.3, the Consultative Body noted the importance given to education as a safeguarding measure through the institutionalization of non-formal transmission of Totonac traditions that complement traditional methods of transmission. In P.4 and P.8, the effectiveness of the programme had been positively evaluated with regard to the support and continuity of the Centre; the programme is periodically evaluated by a team trained by masters of the tradition, coordinators of the house-schools and other stakeholders with quantitative indicators as well as qualitative analyses of the impacts on the different aspects of transmission. In P.5, the proposal demonstrated the active participation of the communities at different levels of the programme, as well as their free, prior and informed consent. In P.7, the Centre and the communities expressed their willingness to cooperate in the promotion of the programme. In P.6, the transmission of traditional know-how at the Centre and its self-sufficiency could serve as a regional and international model of safeguarding. In P.9, thanks in particular to such characteristics as self-management of the communities, the promotion of income-generation and modularity, the programme could serve as a model for developing countries. Nevertheless, the Consultative Body sought a clearer explanation of how the Centre promoted the coordination of safeguarding efforts at the regional and international level in P.2, even though the file mentioned participation in a number of international festivals. The Consultative Body therefore recommended its selection to the Register.
With no forthcoming comments, the Chairperson moved to adopt the decision on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis. The delegation of Morocco wondered whether the last sentence of paragraph 1 that referred to ‘ongoing cooperation with creators and cultural agencies from other States of the country and from around the world’ could be more specific.
The Chairperson remarked that paragraph 1 was a summary of the proposal. With no further comments, paragraph 1 was adopted. With no comments or objections to paragraphs 2–6, the Chairperson declaredadopted Decision 7.COM 9.2 to select Xtaxkgakget Makgkaxtlawana: the Centre for Indigenous Arts and its contribution to safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage of the Totonac people of Veracruz, Mexico for the Register of Best Safeguarding Practices.
The delegation of Mexico was grateful for the positive decision, and presented the Secretary of the State of Veracruz and the representatives of the Totonac people. The Secretary of the State of Veracruz spoke of the honour for the State of Veracruz to have the Centre for Indigenous Arts on the Register of Best Safeguarding Practices, which reinforced the commitment of the government and its support for safeguarding the Totonac identity. He thanked UNESCO for its decision, adding that this culture should not be in museums but should prosper and remain alive. A representative of the Totonac people expressed their gratitude in the Totonac language.
[Performance from representatives of the Totonac community]
Thanking Mexico for the colourful musical interlude, the Chairperson spoke of the difficulties faced by the Consultative Body in achieving the right balance between the different criteria with some being imperative, while others were perhaps less so. He also spoke of the difficult task of selecting the ‘best’, which was more subjective than simply examining proposals to the two lists. Nevertheless, the Consultative Body’s suggestion to consider possible revisions in the criteria was said to make good sense, as it would only help improve future work in this very important mechanism. In this way, adoption of Decision 7.COM 9 would enable the Secretariat to work closely with next year’s Consultative Body on suggestions on how to best identify the safeguarding practices among those submitted with possible recommendations by the Committee submitted to the next General Assembly.
The Chairperson then moved to the draft Decision 7.COM 9 on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis. With no change proposed, paragraphs 1–3 were adopted.
The delegation of Latvia proposed an amendment to paragraph 4 in order to encourage States Parties to more actively nominate files to this mechanism, which read ‘Invites States Parties to take a more active position in identifying and presenting Best Safeguarding Practices for the Register, when proposing […]’.
The delegation of Grenada wondered what ‘active position’ implied. For the sake of clarity, the delegation of Latvia proposed ‘to be more active’. The delegations of Belgium, Albania, China and Peru supported the proposal, which was adopted.
The delegation of Brazil remarked that the programmes were not really models for countries since they all had different realities, but served more as an example and thus suggested replacing ‘model’ with ‘example’ in paragraph 5. The delegation of Belgium preferred to retain ‘model’. The Chairperson noted that the Convention used the term ‘model’. The delegation of Brazil withdrew its amendment.
With no further comments, The Chairperson pronounced paragraph 5 adopted. With no change in paragraph 6, it was adopted.
Referring to paragraph 7, the delegation of Morocco remarked that the revision of criteria only made the implementation of the Convention more confusing as it created uncertainty among States Parties, communities, experts and the Committee, and thus did not facilitate understanding and interpretation of the criteria regardless of the mechanism.
The Chairperson recalled an earlier comment made by Indonesia that cautioned against innumerable revisions of the criteria so as to allow certain jurisprudence with regard to the principles of learning.
The delegation of Indonesia agreed with Morocco’s remarks, adding that it was unclear who had proposed paragraph 7 and why. The delegation repeated its earlier remark to apply caution in revising the criteria, and thus proposed to delete paragraph 7, particularly as there were no strongly voiced positions by Committee members in this regard.
The Chairperson summarized Indonesia’s position that preferred to build a body of experience with regard to the Operational Directives before revision. The delegation of China wished to propose a new paragraph. The Chairperson preferred to first close the discussion on paragraph 7.
The delegation of Spain supported Indonesia’s proposal to allow the criteria to settle for a period of time as revisions might create confusion. The delegation of Egypt also supported the position by Indonesia, Morocco and Spain. With no further objections, the Chairperson pronounced paragraph 7 deleted.
The delegation of China wished to include a new paragraph 7, which would read, ‘Invites the Secretariat to consider the possibility of incorporating the programmes, projects and activities selected by the Committee in the elaboration of training materials for the global capacity-building strategy.’
The delegation of Latvia and Burkina Faso supported China’s proposal. The delegation of Morocco also supported the proposal, but suggested clearer wording be used.
The Chairperson suggested to replace ‘invites’ with ‘requests’.
The delegation of Tunisia also supported China’s proposal. The delegation of Belgium proposed broadening the invitation to States Parties so as to include the programmes in their own training materials, which would read, ‘Invites all Member States and the Secretariat to consider […]’.
The delegation of Morocco agreed with Belgium’s proposal, but suggested that it could figure in another paragraph as the current paragraph 7 referred specifically to the global capacity-building strategy implemented by the Secretariat. The delegation of Belgium suggested deleting ‘global’ as the capacity-building strategy was implemented in every State Party and was therefore unnecessary.
The delegation of Uganda sought clarity on whether paragraph 7 was calling for training sessions to include the selected programmes or whether the global capacity-building strategy would be changed to incorporate the selected programmes.
The delegation of Brazil concurred with Morocco that the reference to capacity-building strategies implemented by States Parties should be the subject of a separate paragraph, and agreed that ‘requests’ was more appropriate.
The delegation of Latvia suggested withdrawing ‘capacity-building’, while retaining ‘elaboration of training strategies’.
Summing up, the Chairperson remarked that China’s proposal focused on the Secretariat’s work on the global capacity-building strategy, while Belgium sought to broaden the paragraph to include the States Parties, noting that two Committee members expressed a preference for two separate paragraphs.
The delegations of Morocco, Madagascar and Uganda reiterated its preference for two separate paragraphs. The paragraph now read: ‘Invites the Secretariat to incorporate the programmes, projects and activities selected by the Committee during the elaboration of training materials for the global capacity-building strategy.’ The delegation of Latvia withdrew its proposal.
The delegation of Belgium proposed copying the same text for the second paragraph, replacing ‘Secretariat’ with ‘States Parties’ and removing ‘global’.
With no further comments or objections paragraph 7, relating to the Secretariat, was adopted. The Chairperson read out the proposed paragraph 8: ‘Further invites the States Parties to incorporate the programmes, projects and activities selected by the Committee during the elaboration of training materials for their capacity-building strategies’, which was duly adopted.
The delegation of Grenada returned to an earlier point regarding the alignment of the English language version of the nomination form under P.8. The Secretariat took note.
With no further comments or objections, the Chairperson declared adopted Decision 7.COM 9.
[The Vice-Chairperson from Spain replaced the Chairperson]