An International Scientific Committee of


(Approved by the Executive Committee of ICOMOS at its meeting at Xi’an, China on 14 October 200, as amended on 26 September 2008, and revised on the advice of ICLAFI in June 2009)

Article 1 – Establishment

The ICOMOS International Committee on Intangible Cultural Heritage (hereafter referred to as “ICICH”) is established in accordance with article 14 of the Statutes of ICOMOS (adopted by the 5th General Assembly) and the Eger-Xi’an Principles for the International Scientific Committees (adopted by the 15th General Assembly).

Article 2 – Objectives

The objectives of ICICH are, consistent with the aims of ICOMOS:

  • To promote international cooperation in the identification, study and solution of issues related to the ethical identification, protection, interpretation, and management of the intangible cultural associations attributed to monuments and sites.
  • To co-operate with the International Scientific Committees of ICOMOS in reviewing doctrinal documents as well as management and conservation practices, in light of the role of intangible attributes in the significance and values of cultural heritage sites.
  • To advise ICOMOS on any role it may have in the implementation of, or other activities associated with UNESCO’s International Convention on Intangible Cultural Heritage.
  • To advise ICOMOS on the role of intangible attributes in the role it plays in implementation of other UNESCO Conventions and international treaties, such as the World Heritage Convention and The Hague Convention.

Article 3 – Activities

The activities to accomplish its objectives shall be conducted in accordance with a triennial programme and shall include in particular but not be limited to:

  • Conferences, workshops and other means for direct inter-personal exchanges,
  • Study visits,
  • Publications,
  • Specialist advisory services to ICOMOS and others.

Article 4 – Members

In general membership categories in ICICH shall be open to all ICOMOS members able to demonstrate expertise and experience in any field associated with protection, maintenance and conservation of in the field of the intangible heritage values of heritage places cultural spaces, and sites, representing all the world regions.

  • General Provisions:
    1. ICICH will include the most recognised experts in this field and seeks to foster young and beginning professionals seeking this specialisation.
    2. All ICICH members are expected to be familiar with the Statement of Ethical Commitment adopted by ICOMOS in Madrid in 2002, and abide by it at all times.
    3. New members are admitted to ICICH via a decision of its Bureau; approval of membership may not be refused without justification.
    4. The categories of members for ICICH will consist of the following, each with specific rights and responsibilities.
  • Membership Categories:
    There shall be the following categories of member:
    • Expert Members
    • Associate Members
    • Affiliate Members (non-ICOMOS members and / or Institutional members)
    • Honorary Members
      • Expert Members:
        1. Shall be members of ICOMOS engaged in activities associated with and having experience with the areas of professional activity relevant to the objectives of ICICH. Such members may apply to be an Expert Member, either upon personal application or proposal by a member of the Bureau of ICICH or of the National Committee to which they belong. Membership is dependent on approval by the ICICH Bureau which will also select Expert Members from among applicants.
        2. Expert members shall be accepted in unlimited number.
        3. National Committees of ICOMOS may designate one Expert Member as its representative on ICICH for a term of three years.  No such representative may serve in such a capacity for more than three consecutive terms.
        4. In the event that ICICH considers the designated member to be unsatisfactory, it can appeal before the Scientific Council which will make a recommendation to the Executive Committee concerningthat designation. All other issues and decisions shall be voted on by all Expert Members, without limitation.
        5. If an Expert Member who serves as the representative of a National Committee does not attend or contribute to three consecutive meetings of ICICH without due cause or should the Bureau for other reasons deem the member to have become inactive it may ask the relevant National Committee to nominate a new representative.
        6. Voting at elections of the ICICH Bureau and on amendment of the ICICH statutes will be done by Expert Members designated by their National Committees.
    • Associate Members:
      1. Non-ICOMOS Members who can make an important contribution to ICICH may be invited to participate in committee meetings and activities and will be encouraged to apply for ICOMOS membership.
      2. Associate members shall be accepted in unlimited number. They are conditionally accepted for a period of three years, after which time their contribution to the Committee will be evaluated using a transparent and well-understood methodology to assess their contributions to the Committee. The Associate Membership shall be:
        • Extended for another similar period of time, with a maximum of three such triennial extensions, or
        • Upgraded to Expert Member, or
        • Rejected on the basis of no participation or unsatisfactory performance.
      3. ICICH will strive to incorporate Associate Members in its work.
      4. Associate Members are accorded no voting rights.
    • Affiliate Members, being either:
      1. Non-ICOMOS Members who can make an important contribution to ICICH may be invited to participate in committee meetings and activities and will be encouraged to apply for ICOMOS membership.
      2. Institutional Members – When in the interest of ICOMOS and of ICICH, and at the ICICH’s discretion, the optional category of Institutional Membership may be established by the Bureau according to the Eger-Xi’an principles.
      3. An Institutional member may designate from its staff one person with the required qualifications to be its representative and spokesperson in the Committee. The Committee may accept that individual as an Expert Member.
    • Honorary Members
      1. Need not be members of ICOMOS and are appointed by a decision of ICICH in recognition of the services they have rendered to it and/or in recognition of outstanding achievement in the field covered by the objectives of ICICH.  They may be proposed for election by Expert Members of ICICH.  Honorary Members may participate in all activities of the Committee, except elections. Honorary Members may use the title: “Honorary Member, ICICH.”

Article 5 – Administration

  1. ICICH takes its decisions by majority vote of the Expert Members present at a meeting. Absent Expert Members may provide a written proxy to another Expert Member who is present provided that such a member may not represent more than two absent Expert Members. In situations where less than twenty Expert Members are present at a meeting, three Expert Members may request that a decision be taken by postal or electronic vote.
  2. Meetings of ICICH shall take place as frequently as opportunity and resources permit, but must be held at least once during each triennium.  A written invitation by the Bureau shall be made to all members at least a month in advance of a meeting.
  3. Voting:
    • The Expert Members of ICICH shall in the year of an ICOMOS General Assembly elect a President, four Vice-Presidents and a Secretary-General who, together with the Director of the Secretariat, shall form its Bureau for a term of office of three years.  Bureau members other than the Director must be Expert Members.  The elected members of the Bureau shall come from different countries and must represent at least three different regions of the world.
  4. The Secretary-General shall in addition to the work usually associated with such a position also handle the tasks of a Treasurer in instances where ICICH is required to handle financial resources.
  5. Members of the Bureau may not serve more than three consecutive terms of office.  The Bureau shall meet at least once a year and may conduct its meetings via means other than coming together in a physical gathering. The Bureau is responsible for the preparation of ICICH’s meetings, the implementation of ICICH’s decisions, the preparation and determination of the system to be used for  elections  and reporting in terms of  article 5 (7).
  6. The Secretariat of ICICH shall be located in a country determined by the Bureau with the agreement of the ICOMOS Executive and the Director of the Secretariat shall be provided by the country concerned.  The Secretariat shall be responsible for maintaining the full archival record and institutional memory of the Committee.  The Director of the Secretariat shall be an ex officio, non-Expert Member of the Bureau.
  7. English and French are the official languages of ICICH, but as resources and needs determines other languages may from time to time and by decision of the Bureau be used as working languages.
  8. In the year of the ICOMOS General Assembly ICICH shall draw up a triennial programme of activities that shall include clear and precise objectives, a work programme and a budget with a financial plan and funding strategy. This report shall be forwarded to the Scientific Council of ICOMOS at the time determined by it.
  9. The Bureau shall draw up an annual report in the format determined by ICOMOS and submit it to ICICH members and to the Scientific Council of ICOMOS each year and at the time determined by it.
  10. The Bureau may appoint as many sub-committees, task forces and/or working groups as it deems appropriate to carry out its work.
  11. Partnerships – The Committee may enter into permanent or temporary partnership with other International Scientific Committees of ICOMOS or with affinity organisations that share it goals.  Decisions to enter into such a partnership shall rest with the Bureau.  Partner organisations may nominate one representative to the Committee, who will have the same rights as Expert Members. This shall occur in Compliance with Section V of the Eger-Xi’an Principles.
  12. The President shall represent ICICH on the ICOMOS Advisory Committee and the Scientific Council.  In the latter case, the President may designated deputy in terms of Section A-1 of the Eger Xi’an principles. In the case of specialist missions or similar activities the Bureau shall, on the basis of the expertise needed and resources available, resolve upon which member/s is best suited to the given purpose

Article 6 – Finances

  1. The activities of ICICH shall be financed by funds allocated by ICOMOS from its annual budget; funds obtained by ICICH on its own initiative from international and national organisations including National Committees and by funds from any other source provided by way of gift, bequest, donation or sponsorship towards the achievement of the objective of ICICH.
  2. Members of ICICH are generally expected to obtain the funds necessary to ensure their participation in its activities in particular their presence at meetings.
  3. ICICH shall draw up a budget and financial plan and maintain an appropriate record of all financial transactions.  Each triennium it shall arrange an audit statement of those transactions and shall present financial statements to the triennial meeting.

Article 7 – Miscellaneous

  1. ICICH shall conform to the laws of the country in which its Secretariat is located.
  2. The Statutes may only be amended by a majority vote by the voting Expert Members (designated by their Expert Committees) in a postal or electronic ballot.
  3. Nothing in these Statutes shall be interpreted in a way which is inconsistent with the realisation of the objective of ICICH. Any interpretation of these Statutes should be made in accordance with the Statutes of ICOMOS or regulatory framework established by it.  Any disputes over the interpretation of the Statutes shall be arbitrated by the Executive Committee of ICOMOS, or authority designated by it to serve such a role.