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The Governing Bodies 

The Governing Bodies of the 2003 Convention

The Convention is expected to enter into force in 2006. When this happens, the General Assembly of States Parties to the Convention will meet to elect the Members of the first Intergovernmental Committee. This Committee, assisted by UNESCO’s Secretariat, will be in charge of preparing operational directives to be adopted by the General Assembly that will guide the implementation of the Convention.

 

The General Assembly of States Parties

Article 4 of the Convention states that the General Assembly of States Parties to the Convention is the sovereign body of the Convention. It shall meet in ordinary session every two years, and 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. The General Assembly shall adopt its Rules of Procedure and it will discuss and eventually approve the documents that the Committee will prepare on its behalf.

The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage

The Committee is the organ that will implement the Convention. The Committee will, for example, examine the requests submitted by the States Parties for inscription on the Lists and for the granting of international assistance. The Committee, which will be assisted by UNESCO’s Secretariat, will probably meet once a year.

The first Committee will be composed of representatives of 18 States Parties. The States Members of the Committee shall be elected for a term of four years, and every two years the General Assembly shall renew half of them.

There is one exception: the term of office of half of the States Members of the Committee to be elected at the first election is limited to two years. A State Member of the Committee may not be elected for two consecutive terms. The election of States Members of the Committee shall not only obey the principle of rotation, but also that of equitable geographical distribution.

This first Committee will be especially important, since it has the crucial task of preparing the first set of Operational Directives for the implementation of the Convention. The members of the first Committee will thus have the important responsibility of giving the new Convention its orientation. Other major functions of the Committee are listed in Article 7 of the Convention.




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