Workshop on the revision of the final draft “Palestinian Law on the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage”

May 18, 2015. UNESCO Ramallah office jointly with the Palestinian Ministry of Culture organized a two day specialized workshop on a comprehensive and context-specific draft law for the safeguarding of the Palestinian Intangible Heritage, aligned with the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, ratified by Palestine in 2011. More than 30 participants, comprising experts in various fields of intangible cultural heritage, including representatives from scientific institutions and non-governmental and civil society organizations, actively participated in this technical meeting.

The comments and technical input provided by the national experts during the workshop will be consolidated into a proposed final draft "Palestinian Law on the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage", prepared in 2012 by the Ministry of Culture, with technical support from UNESCO and in close consultation with the participation of relevant civil society institutions and experts. The final draft will be submitted to the relevant Palestinian national authorities for their review and possible adoption.

We hope that through your contribution and inputs today we will be able to get a final version of the Palestinian law on the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage that is aligned with the international conventions ratified by Palestine. The ministry of culture is committed to work on the endorsement of this law and the creation of an encouraging environment that believes and respects freedom and diversity” said Mr. Waleed Abdessalam, the Assistant Deputy Minister of Culture on behalf of H.E. Ziad Abu Amer, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Culture. “On this occasion, we would like to thank UNESCO for their support in finalizing this important law from the beginning to the end.”, he added.

UNESCO is proud to be closely associated with the national efforts for strengthening the safeguarding and the promotion of Palestinian intangible heritage. Passed down from generation to generation, practices, expressions, knowledge and know-how are intrinsic part of the cultural heritage of Palestine and they provide its people with a sense of identity and continuity. Intangible heritage sustains diversity and creativity, and can represent a significant source of income and job-creation opportunities. The support to the development of a national legislation on the safeguarding of this heritage, aligned with the international standards, is a further component of UNESCO’s cooperation to protect and promote the immensely rich Palestinian heritage ” said Dr Lodovico Folin Calabi, Head of UNESCO Ramallah Office a.i.

This step towards the development and approval of a new broad legislation for the safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, consistent with the international standards, will further contribute to the protection and promotion of Palestinian Heritage.

For further information, please contact Majd Beltaji, Public Information Officer of the UNESCO Office in Ramallah at m.beltaji(at)unesco.org