UNESCO Category 2 Centers Gathered in Annual Meeting

Participants at the C2C Workshop

Active UNESCO Category 2 Centres (C2Cs) held the Fifth Annual Coordination Meeting of Category 2 Centres in Shiraz, Iran from 10 to 11 September 2017. As designated by UNESCO through agreements with Member States, C2Cs provide a contribution to UNESCO’s projects in the sectors of education, sciences, culture, and communication and information. They are committed to help in implementing projects and promoting policies in each sector.

Activities of ICH C2Cs are coordinated by the UNESCO Secretariat of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. There are seven C2Cs across the world (refer to the list below), including the International Information and Networking Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region (ICHCAP) in Korea. The coordination meeting is an annual event in which the Secretariat and the C2Cs share information about project plans and activities according to regions and central functions of the C2Cs.

This year, the meeting was organized by the Secretariat and hosted by the Regional Research Centre for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage in West and Central Asia in Iran. The participants included representatives from the Secretariat, regional UNESCO Offices (Beijing, Bangkok, and Havana), and all the C2Cs except for the center in Africa. The meeting covered recent developments in the life of the 2003 Convention, paying attention to Document 39 C/5 also knows as Draft Programme and Budget of the Organization. The participants also discussed the project plans of each C2C, issues concerning regional ICH safeguarding, and methods for cooperation among the C2Cs and with UNESCO.

UNESCO (the Secretariat and regional Offices) agreed that it is important to ensure that the aims and interests of projects undertaken by UNESCO and C2Cs are well aligned so that C2Cs’ engagement in ICH safeguarding activities of Member States can yield fruitful results. In this regard, UNESCO encouraged the active cooperation of the C2Cs while exploring ways to create synergies between C2Cs’ projects and UNESCO’s programs.

Also, citing the higher education networking project currently implemented by UNESCO and ICHCAP, UNESCO expressed expectations about great possible synergies that can be created by linking education or other sectors with Member States’ initiatives towards sustainable development goals. The participants also looked into the main agenda of the 12th session of the Intergovernmental Committee Meeting of the Convention, which will take place in December in Jeju, Korea, and discussed the roles of each region and C2C.

During the two-day meeting, representatives from the C2Cs shared various information on significant matters through active exchanges and discussions. The meeting offered a venue for them to overcome limitations of online communications. It is hoped that C2Cs will continuously provide practical contributions to the safeguarding of ICH in Member States.

List of ICH C2Cs