The event was organized by the Vietnam Cultural Heritage Association and the Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003 Convention). Vietnam became one of the first 30 countries to join this significant international convention on September 5, 2005.

Participants recognized Vietnam as one of the pioneers in integrating intangible cultural heritage into their cultural heritage laws. This proactive approach has greatly contributed to the preservation of cultural heritage over the past two decades, striking a balance between conservation and promotion activities.

Nong Quoc Thanh, Deputy Director of the Department of Cultural Heritage under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, highlighted Vietnam’s role as the first country to request the removal of a heritage element from the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding. This milestone refers to the case of Xoan singing, a traditional music genre in Vietnam.

Emphasizing the collaborative efforts in cultural heritage protection in Vietnam, the official affirmed that Vietnam, as a member of the Intergovernmental Committee for the 2022 – 2026 term, will continue to share its experience, exert greater efforts, and fulfill its responsibility in safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage of humanity.

During the event, participants put forward suggestions for enhancing the effectiveness of intangible cultural heritage safeguarding in Vietnam, including amendments and additions to the Cultural Heritage Law.

Vietnam currently boasts a total of 15 intangible cultural heritage elements recognized by UNESCO. Some notable examples include Nha Nhac – Vietnamese Court Music, the Space of Gong Culture, Quan Ho Bac Ninh Folk Songs, Ca Tru Singing, and the Giong Festival of Phu Dong and Soc temples.