UNESCO official highlights VN's role in protecting heritage

July 13, 2022 - 10:08
UNESCO representative in Việt Nam Christian Manhart has highlighted Việt Nam’s leading role in protecting intangible cultural heritage.


A performance of Xoan singing in northern Phú Thọ Province. — VNA/VNS Photo 

HÀ NỘI — UNESCO representative in Việt Nam Christian Manhart has highlighted Việt Nam’s leading role in protecting intangible cultural heritage during an interview with Vietnam News Agency for the country’s election as a member of the Intergovernmental Committee of the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage for 2022-2026.

Congratulating Việt Nam on the success, Manhart noted that in the election in June 2006, Việt Nam was voted to the body soon after the convention had entered into force.

This second time shows that Việt Nam remains one of the most active members of UNESCO, ready to take up responsibilities in today's complex international context.

"The achievement once again demonstrates the proactive role of the Government and people of Việt Nam in activities preserving and promoting the values of intangible heritage. It also affirms the leadership and advice Việt Nam can provide to other countries around the world in intangible heritage safeguarding," the official said.

“We hope and believe that Việt Nam will assume successfully the role of a Committee member to important issues for the safeguarding of living heritage around the world and the future of the convention.

"These include the global reflection on the listing mechanisms of the convention, the Plan for the use of the resources of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund and the accreditation of non-governmental organisations.” 

Elaborating on what UNESCO has done so far to help Việt Nam in preserving and promoting the values of the intangible cultural heritage, he said that the organisation had had various cooperation projects and activities in Việt Nam to support the country and local efforts in safeguarding and promotion its rich and diverse cultural practices.

UNESCO’s past cooperation mainly focused on capacity building, mobilising international expertise and good practices in heritage preservation, raising awareness and promoting a community-centred and rights-based approach to preserving intangible cultural heritage, he said.

He added that collaborative research, advocating for heritage education, the customary rights of local people, especially those living in protected areas, and promoting traditional crafts and tourism for better local benefits and sustainable development were also key areas, he said.

He said cooperation achievements could be noticed in the success and good practices of Việt Nam in institutionalising and encouraging robust heritage education programmes, both in schools and communities, the growing intangible cultural heritage inventories and the intense attention of both the public and the government in investing and reinvesting in intangible cultural heritage.

A significant success was the revival of Xoan singing in northern Phú Thọ Province which resulted in the Intergovernmental Committee’s decision to remove this element from the Urgent Safeguarding Category and transfer it to the Representative List in 2017, he noted.

He said this success set an unprecedented practice and contributed to creating the new procedure of this convention for an element to be transferred from the Urgent Safeguarding List to the Representative List. — VNS