Nepal ratifies UN convention on intangible cultural heritage

22 June 2010 – Nepal has become the latest country to sign a United Nations convention designed to safeguard intangible cultural heritage, such as folklore, oral traditions, social rituals and the performing arts, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reported today.

By ratifying the Convention, the Nepalese Government commits itself, at the international level, to safeguard the rich and diverse living heritage of the country, the agency said in a statement congratulating Nepal on become the 125th State Party to the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

“This is a great step as it demonstrates the Government’s commitment to preserve and promote the diverse living heritage of the people of Nepal, where cultural heritage is largely cultural practice, and where cultural practice means cultural identity,” said Axel Plathe, UNESCO’s representative in Nepal.

The main purposes of the convention, which was adopted by UNESCO Member States in 2003, are to safeguard intangible cultural heritage, to ensure respect for it, to raise awareness about its importance and of mutual appreciation, and to provide for international cooperation and assistance in those fields.

Ratifying governments recognize that cultural heritage is not limited to material manifestations, such as monuments and objects, but must be extended to the traditions and living expressions inherited from ancestors.

It binds governments to acknowledge their roles in international cooperation and responsibilities towards implementing the provisions of the Convention through adoption of necessary legislative, regulatory and other appropriate measures.

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