PH Permanent Delegate to UNESCO and Ambassador to France Ma. Theresa P. Lazaro during the 8th session of the General Assembly of the States Parties to the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage
08 September 2020, Paris – Permanent Delegate to UNESCO and Ambassador Ma. Theresa P. Lazaro delivered the Philippines’ intervention during the first day of the 8th session of the General Assembly of the States Parties to the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH).
Ambassador Lazaro highlighted the spirit of solidarity and common humanity that pervades the ICH Convention in the time of pandemic.
She also commended the Governments of Mauritius and Colombia for their successful hosting of the ICH Committee sessions in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
Ambassador Lazaro cautioned against an approach that would aim to recreate World Heritage for ICH. She mentioned that the Philippines “would like to see much more community and grass roots-driven priorities and focus on safeguarding. For this reason, our most recent inscription was an element for the Urgent Safeguarding List, a thanksgiving ritual system of the Subanen people in Mindanao, which faces certain threats due to changing social and economic structures.”
She also applauded the increased provision of international assistance by the Committee and emphasized the need to refine the system so that assistance is more strategic and targeted, with clear outcomes and multiplier effects.
As an active member of the ICH Committee since 2016, Ambassador Lazaro recalled the Philippines’ contributions to the objectives of the ICH Convention and the important work of the Committee. The Philippines was elected Vice-President of the Committee and served on its Bureau the last two years. The Philippines also co-chaired the ad hoc informal working group in 2018 that helped pave the way for the launch of the upstream dialogue process, as well as contributed to the reflection on the role of accredited NGOs, among others.
As a State Party of the Convention, Ambassador Lazaro reaffirmed the Philippines’ commitment to further contribute to the development of new emerging issues such as ICH and peacebuilding, ICH in emergencies and natural disasters, ICH and education, and the monitoring of inscribed elements. END.