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5th Ordinary Governing Council Meeting of Tehran ICH Centre

The Regional Research Centre for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage in West and Central Asia, under the Auspices of UNESCO (Tehran ICH Centre), organised the 5th Ordinary Session of its Governing Council in Tehran, IR of Iran, on 26 and 27 June, 2023. This two-day meeting brought together representatives from the Centre’s Member States (Armenia, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Palestine and Syria), as well as experts from Iran and Indonesia to consider the Centre’s action plan for FY 2023-2024, along with the proposed plans for FY 2024-2025. The objectives pursued included election of new members to the Governing Council and necessary changes in the Centre’s constitution and rules of procedure of the Governing Council and the Secretariat of the Centre, as per changes applied to the renewed Agreement for the continuation of the Centre and the resulting new mandate of the Centre. More specifically, the election of the representative of the IR of Iran on the Governing Council as Chair of the GC, election of the Director of the Centre, election of three new expert members on the Governing Council and the members to the Executive Board, rules of procedure for the implementation of the adoptions of the GC, adoption of the Centre’s Action Plan for FY 2023-2024 and finally decision-making about promoting the contribution of Member States in the activities of the Centre, were pursued.

In 2006, the Islamic Republic of Iran joined the 2003 Convention on the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage. On 28 April 2010, the Agreement concerning the establishment of the Tehran ICH Centre was signed between UNESCO and the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Centre was officially activated on November 2012.

According to UNESCO’s rules and regulations on the 6-year periodic evaluation of the Category 2 Centres in ICH, in 2018 an evaluation was carried out of the Centre by External UNESCO evaluators and in 2019 the continuation of the Centre was officially announced by UNESCO. Once the new Agreement was signed and the continuation of the Centre was officially approved of, the new Agreement came into force on 28 April 2023 (29 Farvardin 1402 in the Persian Calendar). The Functions of the Regional Research Centre for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage in West and Central Asia (Tehran ICH Centre), based on the Agreement for continuation of the Centre are as follows:

  • to organize long-term and short-term training workshops and field-based training activities, in accordance with the UNESCO global strategy in this field;
  • to create and keep up to date an automated information system registering and linking governmental and non-governmental institutions, research, educational and information institutions, community organizations and individual experts involved in the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage in the States of the Region that have expressed the wish to cooperate through the Centre;
  • to gather and disseminate information on legal, administrative, financial and other measures taken by the States participating in the Centre with a view to safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage present in their territory;
  • to cooperate and exchange information with other Category 2 Centres in and beyond Asia that are active in the field of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage;
  • to inform the Secretariat of the 2003 Convention about relevant activities in the Region and to assist as appropriate in the implementation of the 2003

The agenda of this two-day meeting was adopted and the work of the 5th GC initiated in light of discussions taken place among the GC members. Modifications were made in related documents and necessary changes were applied to the draft decisions.

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