Culture Ministry Celebrates 20th Anniversary of 2003 Convention for Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage at UNESCO Headquarters

Paris, The Ministry of Culture organized on Monday a special celebration at the UNESCO headquarters in France commemorating the 20th anniversary of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. The event was attended by President of the 42nd session of the General Conference, Simona Mirela Miculescu, Chairperson of the UNESCO Executive Board, Vera El Khoury, and Director of World Heritage at UNESCO Lazare Eloundou Assomo, along with several ambassadors and officials.

The event aimed to highlight Qatar’s efforts in protecting and preserving intangible cultural heritage, as recognized by the convention’s imperative to safeguard living heritage and enhance dialogue among peoples, cultural diversity, and human creativity.

In his speech at the ceremony, Assistant Undersecretary for Cultural Affairs at the Ministry of Culture, Dr. Ghanim bin Mubarak Al Ali, expressed delight to inaugurate the heritage and cultural exhibition to celebrate Qatar’s heritage at UNESCO headquarters in P

Al Ali elaborated that the exhibition, organized by the Ministry of Culture in conjunction with the 20th anniversary celebration of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, promotes dialogue among peoples, cultural diversity, and human creativity. It aims to increase awareness of the importance of intangible cultural heritage, which includes significant aspects of Qatar’s heritage, such as crafts, industries, customs, and traditions.

He emphasized Qatar’s commitment to safeguarding its intangible cultural heritage by promptly registering files on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, including “Al Majlis” and “Arab Coffee”. He added that the Ministry of Culture has been collaborating with a group of countries for months to prepare a file for the registration of “Al Bisht” on the list as well. “Al Bisht”, along with “Al Sqarah” (falconry), “Al Majlis”, and “Arab Coffee”, represents rich elements of our culture that reflect an
inherited legacy passed down through generations to remain resilient against the threat of disappearance, serving as a conduit for the continuous creativity and engagement with our environment and history. The value of these registered heritage elements, along with others presented in this exhibition, does not stop at their benefit to our identity. Instead, they enhance the presence of our heritage within the framework of human heritage components, contributing culturally to enriching cultural diversity worldwide.

Al Ali added that intangible cultural heritage occupies a significant place in UNESCO’s work, as evidenced by the legislative framework established by the 2003 Convention for its protection. He pointed out that Qatar believes that this heritage, passed down through generations and constituting a diverse cultural legacy for humanity, contributes to building a community’s self-identity, thereby enhancing dialogue with other societies.

He explained that cultural heritage and dialogue are interrelated
, and protecting cultural heritage ensures the sustainability of dialogue and enables people to reach the horizon of sustainable development. He called for collective efforts to strengthen the belief of generations in our cultural heritage, hoping that the exhibition would be a means of cultural rapprochement. (MORE)

Source: Qatar News Agency