ST. KITTS: (NATCOM) – Basseterre, 22 April 2016: The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis has ratified the
UNESCO 2003 Convention for Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage, and the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression, thereby gaining empowerment to utilize the resources and expertise of UNESCO in protecting the same.
Secretary General of the National Commission for UNESCO Mr. Antonio Maynard and Permanent Representative of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis to UNESCO, Dr. David Doyle, presented the Instruments in Paris last week thereby giving the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis access to the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund. The benefits would be accessible to the Ministries of Culture and Tourism, Cultural organizations and NGOs which now have an opportunity to conceptualize and submit project proposals in their various fields.
Secretary General of the National Commission For UNESCO Mr. Antonio Maynard said he was pleased to have reached this far in the process adding that this is only the entrance to a doorway of possibilities. He stated specifically in relation to the 2003 Convention “We can now submit a request for up to US$100, 000.00 any time after June 30th of this year from the International Fund for the Promotion of Culture (IFCD). By March 31, 2017 we can submit another request for funds greater than US$100,000.00as part of the nomination process.
In particular, the St. Kitts-Nevis National Commission will envisage a capacity-building project for the Federation aimed at safeguarding of intangible heritage via the Intangible Heritage Fund.
Mr. Maynard who was full of praise for Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education Hon. Shawn Richards said that the Minister had been very supportive of activities leading to the ratification of the Conventions. Mr. Maynard further revealed that generally, it takes an average of 3 to 6 months for an international assistance request to be conceptualized, developed, processed, examined, and approved.
Specific to the 2003 Convention St. Kitts and Nevis intends to create institutional and professional environments for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage by way of redesigning institutional infrastructures, revising cultural and other policies and legislation, developing inventory methods, developing effective safeguarding measures and participating in international cooperation mechanisms.
Discussion at the Paris meeting in relation to the 2005 Convention included the possibility of St. Kitts and Nevis hosting meetings and conferences for the Caribbean Sub-Region which will entail applying for additional funds that are available in the convention programme mechanism specific to this convention.
The National Commission for UNESCO revealed that there are several proposals that can be submitted that will gain momentum, and approval, given the ratification of the conventions. These include: Developing a framework for Inventorying the Living Heritage; strengthening the capacity within the masquerades and other indigenous dance and folklore groups and Launching of the National Cultural Policy.The Secretary General said that he greatly encourages such proposals to be submitted by local stake holders.
The IFCD supports projects that are consistent with the main objective of the IFCD and cover the introduction and/or elaboration of policies and strategies that have a direct effect on the creation, production, distribution of and access to a diversity of cultural expressions, including cultural goods, services and activities; as well as; the reinforcement of corresponding institutional infrastructures, including professional capacities and organizational structures, deemed necessary to support viable local and regional cultural industries and markets in developing countries.
All projects related to tangible and/or intangible cultural heritage can be made to the World Heritage Fund or Fund for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Projects that deal solely with the production of cultural and artistic works and events can be directed to the International Fund for the Promotion of Culture.