Seoul 2004

21st General Assembly of ICOM
Seoul, Korea, Friday 8 October 2004

Resolution no. 1

Considering the undeniable importance of intangible heritage and its role in the preservation of cultural diversity, the 21st General Assembly of ICOM, held in Seoul on 8 October 2004 ,

   1. Endorses the 2003 UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage;
   2. Urges all governments to ratify this convention;
   3. Encourages all countries, and especially developing countries where there is a strong oral tradition, to establish an Intangible Heritage Promotion Fund;
   4. Invites all relevant museums involved in the collection, preservation and promotion of the intangible heritage to give particular attention to the conservation of all perishable records, notably electronic and documentary heritage resources;
   5. Urges national and local authorities to adopt and effectively implement appropriate local laws and regulations for the protection of intangible heritage;
   6. Recommends that museums give particular attention and resist any attempt to misuse intangible heritage resources and particularly their commercialisation without benefits to the primary custodians;
   7. Urges regional Organisations, National Committees and other ICOM bodies to work closely with local agencies in the development and the implementation of such legal instruments and in the necessary training of staff responsible for effective implementation;
   8. Recommends that all training programmes for museum professionals stress the importance of intangible heritage and include the understanding of intangible heritage as a requirement for qualification;
   9. Recommends that the Executive Council, working with the International Committee for the Training of Personnel (ICTOP), introduce the necessary adjustments as soon as possible into the ICOM Curricula Guidelines for Museum Professional Development (1971, latest revision 1999);
  10. Decides that this Resolution shall henceforth be known as the "Seoul Declaration of ICOM on the Intangible Heritage".



Resolution no. 2

Considering earlier resolutions of ICOM (1986, 1989 and 2001) and the adoption of the recommendation E of the report of the Working Group on the Use of Languages, dated 9 February 2004, specifying that "in the case of the General Assembly and plenary sessions of the General Conference it would be desirable to use the language(s) of the host country in addition to the official languages" of ICOM,

The 21st General Assembly of ICOM, held in Seoul, Korea on 8 October 2004:

   1. Reinforces the Barcelona 2001 decision to adopt Spanish (Castilian) as the third official language of ICOM, and
   2. Adopts entirely the Recommendation E of the Report of the ICOM Working Group on the Use of Languages.



Resolution no. 3

The 21st General Assembly of ICOM, held in Seoul on 8 October 2004,

   1. Urges ICOM to consider the Arab region as a priority region in its programme;
   2. Urges ICOM to carry out in the Arab region training activities for museum professionals, providing all necessary support;
   3. Invites International Committees to demonstrate their solidarity with Arab museums in efforts to gain recognition of their role and importance in the promotion of cross-cultural understanding and cultural diversity of the world.



Resolution no. 4

Whereas Resolution No. 2 of the 18th General Assembly of ICOM, held in Stavanger, Norway, on 7 July 1995, condemned the deliberate destruction of cultural heritage during armed conflicts;

Whereas the tangible and intangible heritage is a crucial part of the cultural identity;

Recognising the vulnerability of this heritage and our moral duty to ensure that present and future generations have access to it;

The 21st General Assembly of ICOM, meeting in Seoul, Korea, on 8 October 2004,

   1. Emphasises the necessity for all governments to ratify the Hague Convention of 1954 on the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict and its subsequent Protocols;
   2. Calls upon ICOM, governments, the International Committee of the Blue Shield and other concerned international organisations to provide technical and financial support to countries that have suffered armed conflict, to help them to document and list their cultural heritage after a conflict;
   3. Regrets and condemns the plunder and vandalism suffered by all institutions responsible for the cultural heritage in their country, like in the recent past in Iraq but unfortunately in other countries as well;
   4. Calls upon the international museum community to develop protective measures and provide all necessary assistance for the reconstruction of museums, libraries, monuments and sites, the restitution of lost collections and the conservation and documentation of the remaining collections.



Resolution no. 5

Recognising that Resolution No. 2 of the 20th General Assembly of ICOM, held in Barcelona, Spain, on 6 July 2001, on museum autonomy is well founded;

The 21st General Assembly of ICOM, held in Seoul, Korea, on 8 October 2004

Reaffirms the terms of that Resolution, in order to ensure that museums achieve greater financial and operational autonomy.