The 11th Session of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Committee opens in Addis Ababa

On November 27, 2016 the President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Dr Mulatu Teshome, opened the 11th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage at an evening gala that presented examples of the wealth of Ethiopia's intangible cultural heritage as performed by a number of artists and practitioners.

On the occasion the President made remarks on the evening gala asserting that the government of Ethiopia has given an important consideration towards protecting and demonstrating Ethiopian cultural and tourist attraction sites to subsequent generations to come along with making them the foundation of knowledge. The President said "Ethiopia is Africa's oldest independent country" adding that "More than 80 nations with distinct cultural traditions and values live here and speak more than 80 different languages. Ethiopia has been a member of UNESCO since 1955 and has collaborated with it since then. We take heritage as our legacy from the past and we pass it on to the next generation. The Ethiopian government is committed to preserve it and safeguard it and UNESCO has been a longstanding partner in this endeavor."

Getachew Engida, UNESCO's Deputy Director-General, on his part affirmed that "a remarkable advance has been achieved ever since the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage entered into force." He added "the Convention continues to represent a force for peace, diversity and inclusion. Dr Hirut Weldemariam, Ethiopia's Culture and Tourism Minister, described Ethiopia as "a land of biodiversity and a mosaic of multiple ethno linguistic groups", which also has room for several religions to live in peace.