Discussing the Achievements in Safeguarding ICH over the Past Two Decades and Further Prospects

The 2023 World Forum for Intangible Cultural Heritage will be held at the National Intangible Heritage Center in Jeonju, Republic of Korea, over two days on 1 and 2 September in connection with the 2023 ICH Festival. The forum is hosted by the National Intangible Heritage Center (Director-General AHN Hyung Soon) under the Cultural Heritage Administration and organized by the UNESCO ICHCAP (Director-General KIM Jisung).

The World Forum celebrates its seventh year in 2023 under the theme “20th Anniversary of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage: Achievements in Safeguarding ICH over the Past Two Decades and Further Prospects.” For this event, around thirty academics, UNESCO cultural specialists, facilitators, etc. from seventeen countries around the world will gather at the National Intangible Heritage Center in Jeonju. The forum will also allow Asia-Pacific States Party to the Convention and various related organizations to participate in the event, shed new light on efforts to safeguard intangible cultural heritage (ICH) by implementing the Convention Over the past twenty years, and look ahead toward future tasks for the advancement of such efforts.

The first day of the event will officially open the forum with keynote presentations by Richard Kurin, Ambassador-at-Large at the Smithsonian Institution, and H.E. Ms. BAK Sangmee, Ambassador of the Permanent Delegation of the Republic of Korea to UNESCO. This will be followed by Session 1 on the theme of “A Retrospective of the Past Twenty Years: Key Themes for Safeguarding ICH Over the Two Decades,” consisting of presentations by Professor Cristina Amescua Chávez from the National University of Mexico and four other speakers, with the aim to examine trends in major discourse related to safeguarding ICH. Session 2 will consist of discussions on the role of ICH in contributing to an inclusive and sustainable society, as well as ways to pursue cooperation and development based on themes such as gender equality, media, shared heritage, and civil society, featuring speakers such as Frank Proschan, Research Associate at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and Jorijn Neyrinck, Vice-chair at the Flemish UNESCO Commission in Belgium.

In Session 3 on Day 2 addresses the theme of “ICH Initiatives for the Next Steps,” referring to recent major initiatives that are being discussed in relation to safeguarding ICH, particularly revolving around cities, economic contributions, digital technology, and the role of youths. Session 4 is a special session that will focus on the Asia-Pacific region in particular, featuring presentations on ICH safeguarding activities, current status, and future outlook of five countries that each represent an area within the region.

“The 2023 World Forum” will provide a meaningful time to reflect on past efforts made by the Convention to maintain cultural diversity and explore the outlook of a new leap forward to the next twenty years to come.

The forum will be held at the Eolssumaru Performance Hall at the National Intangible Heritage Center, and livestreamed via the NIHC and UNESCO ICHCAP YouTube channels.

Prospective attendees may register in advance at the official forum website from August 21. Pre-registered participants will receive lunch on both days. For more information on the forum, please inquire with the ICH World Forum team (Tel.: 063-230-9745).

2023 World Forum for Intangible Cultural Heritage Program Download