India has been chosen to participate in the 2022–2026 cycle of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, which was adopted in 2003. At the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, during the 9th General Assembly of the 2003 Convention, the Intergovernmental Committee elections were held. Shri G.K. Reddy, Union Minister for Culture, Tourism, and DoNER, made the declaration in this regard. Six nations—namely, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Thailand—had submitted their applications to fill the four Asia-Pacific group vacancies. Out of the 155 State Parties who were present and cast ballots, 110 went to India.
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- The General Assembly of the 2003 Convention elects the 24 members that make up the Intergovernmental Committee on the basis of rotation and equitable regional representation. States Committee members are chosen for four-year terms.
- The Intergovernmental Committee’s primary duties include advancing the Convention’s goals, offering advice on best practises, and formulating suggestions for policies to protect intangible cultural assets. Additionally, the Committee reviews requests made by States Parties for the listing of intangible cultural property on the Lists as well as suggestions for projects and programmes.
- India previously participated in this Convention’s Intergovernmental Committee for two terms. both from 2014 to 2018. One spans the years from 2006 to 2010. India has developed a clear strategy for the preservation and promotion of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity for the period 2022–2026.
- India will prioritise a number of areas, including encouraging community involvement, enhancing global cooperation through intangible heritage, encouraging academic research on intangible cultural assets, and coordinating the Convention’s activities with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Prior to the elections, this vision was also presented to the other State Parties to the Convention.
- In September 2005, India approved the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. India, one of the first States to ratify the Convention, has demonstrated a strong commitment to issues relating to intangible cultural assets and has aggressively urged other States Parties to do the same.
- India is ranked highly in the list of intangible cultural assets with 14 inscriptions on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
- India nominated Gujarat’s Garba for discussion in 2023 following the inscription of Durga Puja in 2021.
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- Union Minister for Culture, Tourism, and DoNER: Shri G.K. Reddy