The World Crafts Council (WCC) is a non-profit organization founded to promote handicrafts position. WCC was founded on June 12 by Aileen Osborn Webb in New York to promote the handicrafts status, enhance the communication among handicraft artists around the world, encourage, assist and advise them on monetization, practices, and updating handicrafts while preserving the legacies of the past and using modern technologies to reach new markets.
With the foundation of the World Council, handicrafts and traditions were considered part of the cultural and economic life of nations. The council initially began with a limited number of members, but now covers nine countries and its secretariat is in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Iran became a member of the Council through the National Crafts Organization and has been active in the Asia-Pacific Assembly.
The most important goals that this council pursues as a non-profit and non-governmental body are:
Encouraging, assisting and guiding craftspersons as well as raising the level of their specialized and professional information with regard to the different cultural backgrounds present in each member state.
Preserving and reinforcing handicrafts and its manifestation as a major principle of the cultural life of nations.
Creating solidarity among craftspersons around the world.
The council consists of five regions of North America (Canada), Latin America (Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, United States, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela), Africa, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. Asia-Pacific region is one of five regions of WCC having six sub-regions from West Asia to East Asia:
West Asia: Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and the United Arab Emirates
Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan
South Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka
Southeast Asia: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam
East Asia: China, Hong Kong, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan
Oceania: Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific Islands
The 18th World Crafts Council Meeting
The first WCC meeting was held in New York in the same year of foundation, with fifty countries present. Until 1980, General Assembly of WCC was held every two years, but was then held once every four years. Of 18 assemblies held, 7 assemblies were held in Europe, 6 assemblies in Asia and Oceania, 3 assemblies in Latin America, and 1 assembly in North America and Africa each. The General Assembly of WCC is an event that takes place every four years, after the end of the presidency of each four-year term and the beginning of a new term in one of the active member states. This assembly which includes all real, legal, and governmental and non-governmental members of the WCC, makes decisions and policies such as electing a new council president, heads of districts, and sub-district managers. Regional meetings are also held during the General Assembly. Isfahan was selected as the venue for the 18th General Assembly after a period of non-participation in the international arena by Iranian handicrafts. In 2015, the World Crafts Council registered the two cities of Isfahan and Tabriz as the World Crafts Cities and the City of Hand Carpets, and after the celebration of titles awarding, the aforementioned hosting was proposed by the Head of the Asia-Pacific Region, Dr. Ghada Hijjawi al-Qaddumi and agreed by the Governor of Isfahan and the Vice President and Head of the Cultural Heritage, Crafts and Tourism Organization.