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Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage 2003

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II. Organs of the Convention                                                                                      

Article 4 – General Assembly of the States Parties

1. A General Assembly of the States Parties is hereby established, hereinafter referred to as “the General Assembly”. The General Assembly is the sovereign body of this Convention.

2. The General Assembly shall meet in ordinary session every two years. It may meet in extraordinary session if it so decides or at the request either of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage or of at least one-third of the States Parties.

3. The General Assembly shall adopt its own Rules of Procedure.

Article 5 – Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage

1. An Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, hereinafter referred to as “the Committee”, is hereby established within UNESCO. It shall be composed of representatives of 18 States Parties, elected by the States Parties meeting in General Assembly, once this Convention enters into force in accordance with Article 34.

2. The number of States Members of the Committee shall be increased to 24 once the number of the States Parties to the Convention reaches 50.

Article 6 – Election and terms of office of States Members of the Committee

1. The election of States Members of the Committee shall obey the principles of equitable geographical representation and rotation.

2. States Members of the Committee shall be elected for a term of four years by States Parties to the Convention meeting in General Assembly.

3. However, the term of office of half of the States Members of the Committee elected at the first election is limited to two years. These States shall be chosen by lot at the first election.

4. Every two years, the General Assembly shall renew half of the States Members of the Committee.

5. It shall also elect as many States Members of the Committee as required to fill vacancies.

6. A State Member of the Committee may not be elected for two consecutive terms.

7. States Members of the Committee shall choose as their representatives persons who are qualified in the various fields of the intangible cultural heritage.

Article 7 – Functions of the Committee

Without prejudice to other prerogatives granted to it by this Convention, the functions of the Committee shall be to:

(a) promote the objectives of the Convention, and to encourage and monitor the implementation thereof;

(b) provide guidance on best practices and make recommendations on measures for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage;

(c) prepare and submit to the General Assembly for approval a draft plan for the use of the resources of the Fund, in accordance with Article 25;

(d) seek means of increasing its resources, and to take the necessary measures to this end, in accordance with Article 25;

(e) prepare and submit to the General Assembly for approval operational directives for the implementation of this Convention;

(f) examine, in accordance with Article 29, the reports submitted by States Parties, and to summarize them for the General Assembly;

(g) examine requests submitted by States Parties, and to decide thereon, in accordance with objective selection criteria to be established by the Committee and approved by the General Assembly for:

(i) inscription on the lists and proposals mentioned under Articles 16, 17 and 18;

(ii) the granting of international assistance in accordance with Article 22.

Article 8 – Working methods of the Committee

1. The Committee shall be answerable to the General Assembly. It shall report to it on all its activities and decisions.

2. The Committee shall adopt its own Rules of Procedure by a two-thirds majority of its Members.

3. The Committee may establish, on a temporary basis, whatever ad hoc consultative bodies it deems necessary to carry out its task.

4. The Committee may invite to its meetings any public or private bodies, as well as private persons, with recognized competence in the various fields of the intangible cultural heritage, in order to consult them on specific matters.

Article 9 – Accreditation of advisory organizations

1. The Committee shall propose to the General Assembly the accreditation of non-governmental organizations with recognized competence in the field of the intangible cultural heritage to act in an advisory capacity to the Committee.

2. The Committee shall also propose to the General Assembly the criteria for and modalities of such accreditation.

Article 10 – The Secretariat

1. The Committee shall be assisted by the UNESCO Secretariat.

2. The Secretariat shall prepare the documentation of the General Assembly and of the Committee, as well as the draft agenda of their meetings, and shall ensure the implementation of their decisions.

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