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​Italy elected for the first time President of the General Assemby of the States Parties to the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage

The 7th session of the General Assembly of the States Parties to the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage opened this morning with the unanimous election of Ambassador Vincenza Lomonaco, the Permanent Representative of Italy to UNESCO, to preside over the Session.

The transversal consent in electing Italy testifies to the recognition by all the Organization’s regional groups for the work carried out by our Country in safeguarding intangible cultural heritage. Ambassador Lomonaco said: “It is an issue that, since the Convention was adopted in 2003, has been attracting growing interest from the international community. Nowadays, handing down this heritage, which includes age-old traditions and continually evolving knowledge, represents an essential challenge for local regions and communities. Just like monuments, works of art and archaeological collections, the intangible cultural heritage is a direct expression of the identity of peoples and an instrument that reinforces peace and the social resilience.”   

In the opening remarks, our Country received many expressions of thanks for having promoted this same Session’s meeting on last 24 May to reflect on the cultural dimension of food as an element of social inclusion, sustainable development and cultural identity.

The General Assembly of the States Parties to the Convention convenes in ordinary session once every two years. It gives strategic orientations for the implementation of the Convention and elects the 24 members of the Intergovernmental Committee for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage.

Italy ratified the Convention in 2007 and, since then, has included eight elements in the Representative Listing of ICH: Art of Neapolitan ‘Pizzaiuolo’ (2017); Falconry, a living human heritage (listed in 2016 together with 17 other Countries); Traditional agricultural practice of cultivating the ‘vite ad alberello’ (head-trained bush vines) of the community of Pantelleria (2014); Celebrations of big shoulder-borne processional structures (2013); Mediterranean diet (2013); Traditional violin craftsmanship in Cremona (2012); Opera dei Pupi, Sicilian puppet theatre (2008); Canto a tenore, Sardinian pastoral songs (2008).

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