THANOS magazine

Europe | June 22, 2023

FIAT-IFTA celebrates
2003 UNESCO ICH Convention anniversary

The year 2023 marks the twentieth anniversary of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage – twenty years since the Convention was adopted, on 17 October 2003,
by the 32nd session of the General Conference of UNESCO. 

FIAT- IFTA is proud to be a UNESCO-accredited NGO and to be part of the 20 years celebration of the 2003 Convention. At this celebration, we renew our commitment to safeguard Intangible Cultural Heritage. Intangible Funeral Culture is an intrinsic part of the bereavement process, therefore an intrinsic element of the work we do. 

Mrs.Chen Yuanyuan, chair of the FIAT-IFTA Funeral Heritage Committee, on the occasion of 20th anniversary of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage UNESCO says:

As a consultative NGO to UNESCO we are proud and honored to make contributions to the protection of intangible cultural heritage! Intangible cultural heritage is closely related to the cultural and historical memory of mankind and is passed down from generation to generation. Our organization is a party to the Convention which is also the inheritor of the diversity of human funeral culture protection. Our work consists of setting up heritage protection organizations, establishing intangible cultural heritage databases and publishing Funeral Heritage Reports. We are committed to raising awareness of the importance of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage. To promote, excavate and protect funeral and burial intangible cultural heritage making continuous efforts to achieve the goals of the Convention.

Organized by UNESCO under the theme We Are #LivingHeritage, the anniversary is great the occasion to reflect on the role of the 2003 Convention in raising awareness about the diversity and richness of intangible cultural heritage and in fostering international cooperation. Living heritage is about people, resilience and knowledge passed on from generation to generation.

What do we mean by Intangible Cultural Heritage? Please watch this short video below.

Since its establishment in 2008, the FIAT-IFTA Funeral Heritage Steering Committee has been devoting special attention to traditions, cultural phenomena and artifacts related to death, dying, funerals and mourning at national, regional and local levels around the world that are worth saving from oblivion. Become an author of “Funeral Heritage Report” - unique publication presenting examples of intangible funeral culture from around the world. It describes customs, rituals, rites, beliefs, stories, music, art, the language used to describe the death phenomenon, and the products of crafts. The report forms part of the ongoing commitment we have as part of our membership with UNESCO and helps our industry to share, learn and hopefully safeguard funeral traditions and customs associated with death, funerals and bereavement that still exist around the world.

Read more and explore past “Funeral Heritage Report” publications

FIAT-IFTA members and all those who have knowledge of intangible funeral heritage and would like to present it in the pages of an international publication, and thus preserve them for future generations, are invited to contribute to the report by writing to

Global members

FIAT-IFTA is the only internationally governed funeral Federation with National, Active And Associate Members in more than 80 countries.

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