The 17th session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage began in the Moroccan capital Rabat.
Delegates from 180 countries attended the session, which will be held from November 28 to December 3.
During the session, the committee will evaluate more than 50 nominations submitted by States Parties for inscription on the Lists of the Convention, including traditional tea processing techniques and associated social practices in China, Xinhua news agency reported.
Moroccan King Mohammed VI sent a welcome speech at the opening session, which was read by General Secretary of the Moroccan government, Mohamed El Hajoui.
“This session is being held 19 years after the adoption of the Convention for the safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, an instrument that has made it possible to achieve significant progress in a variety of areas relating to the intangible cultural heritage,” the king said in his speech.
Given the rapid changes affecting the world today, it has become necessary to highlight the intangible heritage of countries around the world and to adopt measures for its preservation, he added.
The ceremony was also attended by Director-General of UNESCO Audrey Azoulay, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of the Kingdom of Morocco to UNESCO, and Secretary of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Tim Curtis.
The Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage was adopted at the 32nd General Assembly of UNESCO on October 17, 2003, to protect the world’s intangible cultural heritage.