180 States Parties now achieved: Angola and Somalia join the 2003 Convention!
180 States Parties now achieved: Angola and Somalia join the 2003 Convention. © UNESCO
By depositing their instrument of ratification respectively on 23 and 28 July 2020, Somalia and Angola became, three months later, the 179th and 180th States to join the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. As States Parties to the Convention, these two countries are now part of a worldwide international network committed to supporting communities in the transmission of their living heritage to future generations. These two recent ratifications are expected to further strengthen the implementation of the Convention in Africa, where 50 countries are now States Parties to the Convention.
Angola’s recent development has been demonstrating the strong links between intangible cultural heritage, peace and sustainable development, in line with the principles put forward by the 2003 Convention. Between 2011 and 2016, UNESCO supported Angola’s efforts in strengthening its national legal framework and enhancing the capacities of its authorities, communities and civil society for the safeguarding of living heritage. Through the project entitled ‘Strengthening national capacities for effective intangible cultural heritage safeguarding in selected PALOP countries’ , Angola in particular reinforced its cooperation with other Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa.
Somalia has a rich and diverse cultural history, including a wealth of oral traditions that provide a strong reflection of the past and present identity and cohesion of Somalia’s communities, whose social fabric has been disrupted by conflict during the last decades. Since 2018, UNESCO has been carrying out activities to inform Somalia of the benefits of ratifying the UNESCO cultural conventions, including the 2003 Convention. On 11 February 2020, the UNESCO Director-General made a historic visit to Somalia to renew the Organization’s cooperation with the country, after years of civil war.
The Secretariat of the 2003 Convention is pleased to welcome Angola and Somalia and is looking forward to a strengthened cooperation.
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