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Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, says Jamaica will pursue the inscription of other elements to UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The Representative List contains elements that demonstrate the diversity of a country’s cultural heritage and raises awareness about its importance

“We were successful in having the Reggae music of Jamaica inscribed… and we all celebrated. We will continue to pursue the inscription of other elements as we go forward,” she said.

Ms. Grange was addressing the 15th session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage on Tuesday (December 15). The Minister is chairing the virtual meeting from December 14 to 19.

More than 800 online participants in nearly 140 countries are registered to attend six online sessions being chaired from Jamaica with the support of UNESCO’s Secretariat in Paris.

Ms. Grange said she is pleased to be part of the process that inscribes and protects cultural heritage elements in other countries, for the benefit of all of humanity.

She noted that preserving and safeguarding these resources are important, particularly at this time, when the global community is facing a pandemic.

“Our intangible cultural heritage is so much a part of who we are as human beings. It is our traditions, our expressions, our knowledge, our practices, very much important parts of our identity,” she noted.

She noted that despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, “we felt that this meeting must go on, because I believe that this work to preserve intangible cultural heritage is so important, is so urgent and is so needed. We have made it happen and I must commend the Secretariat for its work”.

The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity promotes the objectives of the Convention, provides guidance on best practices and makes recommendations on measures for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage.

The committee examines requests submitted by States Parties for the inscription of intangible heritage on the list, as well as proposals for programmes and projects.

Jamaica was elected as a member of the committee in 2018 and will serve until 2022.

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