Morocco Joins UNESCO Committee for Safeguarding Intangible Heritage

Morocco Joins UNESCO Committee for Safeguarding Intangible Heritage. Photo: UNESCO

Rabat – The UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has elected Morocco as a member of the Intergovernmental Committee for Safeguarding its Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Morocco’s Ambassador to Belgium and Permanent Representative at UNESCO Samir Addahre will join the committee for a term of four years. His presence will mark Morocco’s first representative on the cultural heritage committee.

Morocco is now one of 24 States Parties active on the cultural heritage committee.

The committee renewed half of its members during the eighth session of the General Assembly of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage. 

The session took place from September 8-10 at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

Saud Arabia, Sweden, Brazil, South Korea, Switzerland, and Rwanda also joined the committee.

The committee will make recommendations on measures to safeguard intangible cultural heritage, providing advice on best practices and promoting the objectives of UNESCO’s conventions.

The committee also examines the requests for inclusion on UNESCO heritage lists as well as proposals for programs or projects. It will also be responsible for providing international assistance.

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Morocco is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Volubilis, Meknes, Ait Benhaddou in Ouarzazate, the windy city of Essaouira, Fez, Marrakech, Tetouan, El Jadida, and Rabat.

Morocco’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites have monuments and cultural sites that mark a specific era of the country’s history.

In addition to physical sites, UNESCO also named Morocco’s Gnawa music as representative of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The recognition celebrates Gnawa music’s performances, intense beats, and “fraternal practices,” according to UNESCO.

“Originally practised by groups and individuals from slavery and the slave trade dating back to at least the 16th century, Gnawa culture is now considered as part of Morocco’s multifaceted culture and identity.”

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