Created in 1970, the objective of CIOFF is to safeguard, promote and disseminate the traditional culture and folklore. With 69 national sections and 24 Associate and Corresponding members,CIOFF is represented in 92 countries of the five continents. Each National Section is an umbrella organization for national and regional associations of traditional culture and folklore, folk arts festivals, as well as specialistss of cultural intangible heritage and bearers of skills and knowledge. They coordinate every year around 300 events throughout the world , in particular the 200 international festivals and the exchange of traditional groups which means more than 50.000 artists and the involvement of about 20 to 25,000 volunteers. Mission: Promote the intangible cultural heritage through such forms of expressions as dance, music, games, rituals, habits and other arts Serve the objectives of UNESCO: to protect cultural diversity and to promote the cultural pluralism and the intercultural dialogue. Support the activities of its members and those of non-governmental organizations and all other institutions working in the field of cultural heritage Serve the cause of peace and non-viollence through the implementation of the above objectives.
Coordination of about 250 international folklore festivals and folk arts; Exchanges of traditional groups involving more than 50.000 amateur artists; Participation in UNESCO programmes (Slave Route, Mediterranea Programme, signature of the International Decade for a culture of peace and non violence 2000-2010) Implemention of a specific programme on Traditional culture education for childhood and youth developed by and for the CIOFF young people; Since 1998, development of a CIOFF Africa network for Western and Central Africa (special programme) with UNESCO support; Organization of the CIOFF World Folkloriada, every four years (3rd World Folkloriada, Budapest, Hungary, from 12 to 22 August 2004). The Sector Southern Europe and Africa of CIOFF will celebrate the first edition of the "Festival Internacional de Folklore y Artes Tradicionales del Mediterraneo" from the 2 to 6 September 2004 in Calella, Spain.