Thu | Jun 21, 2018

Grange successful in bid for seat on UNESCO Committee

Published:Thursday | June 7, 2018 | 12:00 AMCarlene Davis/Gleaner Writer
Olivia Grange, minister of culture, gender, entertainment and sport (left) discusses the heritage of Jamaica with the new director-general of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay at the 7th session of the General Assembly of the States Parties to the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Paris, France. Jamaica was elected to the committee to serve a four-year term (2018-2022).

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange was yesterday given the nod of approval by delegates to sit on the Inter-Governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) for the first time.

Grange was in Paris, where Jamaica was elected unopposed to the seat on the high-profile UNESCO committee. Only one seat was available on the committee in Group 3, which covers Latin America and the Caribbean region.

"Jamaica expresses its sincere thanks for the overwhelming support we have received. We are heartened by the show of camaraderie, particularly by St Kitts and Nevis, who withdrew, and in the end, provided full backing for Jamaica to sit on the committee. We do not take this level of support for granted," said Grange.

Grange, in addressing the General Assembly, emphasised the role that Jamaica's intangible heritage has played in shaping the country's identity and in providing economic benefits to communities and individuals in Jamaica.

"Jamaica is proud of the fact that the musical heritage of the Maroons has been recognised through its inscription in 2008," Grange said. "We also look forward to future inscriptions of our reggae music and the new religion of Rastafari, which we have given the world. Jamaica encourages all countries to seek to work towards recognition of their indigenous elements through inscription," added Grange.