The Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage entered into force on 20 April 2006, following its ratification by 30 States. As of February 2007, 75 States had deposited their instruments of ratification, approval or acceptance with UNESCO.
The Convention called for the establishment of the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This list will have a major role in ensuring better visibility of the intangible cultural heritage, in increasing awareness of its significance and also in encouraging dialogue in a spirit that is respectful of cultural diversity.
It also called for a List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding. The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, when drawing up the criteria for inscription on this list, will have to determine the conditions under which an element of the intangible cultural heritage will be considered “in need of urgent safeguarding”.
The Intangible Heritage Messenger is a new publication providing updates on the status of the Convention’s ratification and implementation. It is targeted to for ICH professionals, national delegations, national commissions, colleagues within UNESCO and other UN agencies, NGOs, private partners and other actors from civil society.