KINGSTON, Jamaica, Monday June 18, 2018 – Jamaica has been successful in securing a place on yet another high-profile (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) UNESCO Committee.
The country was elected unopposed to a seat on the Intergovernmental Committee of the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), at the recent General Assembly of the Convention in Paris, France.
“Jamaica expresses its sincere thanks for the overwhelming support we have received. We are heartened by the show of camaraderie particularly by St. Kitts and Nevis, who withdrew and in the end provided full backing for Jamaica to sit on the Committee. We do not take this level of support for granted,” said Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange in reacting to the successful bid.
The others on the 12-member committee are: The Netherlands, Azerbaijan, Poland, China, Japan, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, Cameroon, Djibouti, Togo and Kuwait.
The election to the committee marks the first time Jamaica is to serve on this prestigious UNESCO body. It follows Minister Grange being elected to the UNESCO Executive Board and being selected as Chair of the Conventions and Recommendations Committee earlier this year.
It was only last November that Jamaica completed a four-year mandate on the World Heritage Committee.
In addressing the General Assembly, Minister Grange encouraged countries that are party to the Intergovernmental Committee of the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage to make every effort to build capacity within local communities to increase sustainable development for creative practitioners, culture bearers and the community at large.
She emphasized the role which Jamaica’s intangible heritage has played in shaping the country’s identity and in providing economic benefits to communities and individuals in Jamaica.
“Jamaica is proud of the fact that the musical heritage of the Maroons has been recognized through its inscription in 2008. We also look forward to future inscriptions of our Reggae music and the new religion of Rastafari, which we have given the world. Jamaica encourages all countries to seek to work towards recognition of their indigenous elements through inscription,” Grange said.
The 13th session of the ICH Committee will take place in Mauritius in November 2018 when Jamaica’s submission for the inscription of Reggae music on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity will be considered.