The 14th Session of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage was held in Bogota, Colombia from 9 – 14 December, 2019. Belize’s participation was headed by Mr. Nigel Encalada, Director of the Institute for Social and Cultural Research (ISCR) – NICH, accompanied by Ms. Linette Sabido (ISCR), and Mrs. Sandra Miranda, President of Belize’s National Garifuna Council.
The Committee meets annually to take stock of recent developments in the implementation of the 2003 Convention and make important decisions about its implementation, review applications for International Assistance and the various Lists of the Convention, as well as review reports of the status of elements already on those Lists.
Belize has 1 element inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity: the “Language, Dance and Music of the Garifuna.” It is the hope of the Belize ICH Network to continue to implement the Convention toward the safeguarding of our living heritage, and empower communities and organizations to participate, in an informed way, in its implementation. Ms. Miranda’s attendance is the first intervention towards a continued effort to build the capacities of the leaders of cultural organizations in the working mechanism of the Convention and its implementation.
The Belize delegation also met with representatives of Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua to collaborate on the development and submission of a joint project that will continue to safeguard and promote the shared element: “Language, Dance and Music of the Garifuna.”