Chapter 1: An introduction to UNESCO'S 2003 Convention
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This chapter begins with providing some background to the decision by UNESCO Member States to develop a Convention for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage, including a brief review of the main ‘historical’ events in this process from the 1960s. The treaty is then introduced briefly and, after that, placed within the wider international policy and law contexts in particular human rights, sustainable development, participation by non-state actors and the choice of a cultural over an intellectual property approach towards safeguarding. The chapter concludes by examining how safeguarding this heritage is evolving over time and over the experience gained in the past 15-20 years of implementation.