IOV in Broad Perspective

NGO conference in Santa Susanna

IOV is accredited to UNESCO. A five-year-old status where it can be proud of, because in the world there are only 178 accredited NGOs.

From 6 to June 13, 2015 took place in Santa Susanna (near Barcelona, Sp.), the first international conference of NGOs accredited to the Intergovernmental Committee of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The organizer was ‘Ens’, a Catalan cultural association and the ICH NGO Forum (ICH = Immaterial Cultural Heritage and Intangible Cultural Heritage).

This forum worked prior to the conference via the Internet on composing the main agenda items and at the same time sought the widest possible participation of all relevant NGOs from around the world. Although only 11 of the 178 accredited NGOs participated in the virtual forum, the result was still a useful basis for the work in Santa Susanna.

14 accredited NGOs including IOV with president Carmen Padilla, Co-Vice Chairman Emma Cheng and Marcel Oelbrandt, RES for Western Europe, attended the conference. In addition there were a number of mostly local non-accredited NGOs present, which provided an added value during the operation of the conference, for example. about the role of the accredited NGOs and the implementation of the convention.

Over a day and a half, working sessions were held. For the rest working visits were made in the Catalonian region and the participants were deeply introduced to a number of expressions of local ICH elements. So we could attend a rehearsal in a school where the typical Catalan human towers (the famous ‘Castells’) are built. A unique piece of world heritage, of which an image here.


During the sessions the role and functions of the NGO Forum were agreed and the contribution it can make to the evaluation body within the convention. Finally, the steering committee was composed, IOV President Carmen Padilla being member of this steering committee.

Accreditation: approved extension request

From November 30th to December 4th in Namibia has been held the 10th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Emma Cheng, Vice President, was present to represent IOV.

During this 10th session, the applications were treated for revision or renewal of accreditations which have been five years in force. IOV is one of them and former Secretary General George Frandsen, has filed before the requested date (January 15, 2015). IOV is pleased to announce that the application is accepted!

IOV can really be proud about it, because of the 97 dossiers submitted, the Intergovernmental Committee approved 59 as good, and 38 were rejected.

This new accreditation for IOV is a solid basis to not only perpetuate the action in the coming years, but also to build on.

Marcel Oelbrandt, RES Western Europe



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