I hadn't realised this before, but United Kingdom and Russia are the only European countries which have NOT signed this Convention. An interesting example of UK "exceptionalism"!? (Oh - and San Marino also is missing
But it goes further - other non acceding countries include - USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. i.e the main countries of the "white" Anglosphere.
178 countries have "acceded" to some level or another (Ratification, Acceptance and Approval). Other non acceding countries include a number whose non-presence could well be due to bureaucratic inertia/incompetence/other problems as much as to governmental policy - e.g Angola, Somalia, Libya, Guyana, Liberia, Sierra Leone plus possibly more surprisingly South Africa.
What is it then which makes the Anglosphere so unwilling to to accede to this Convention? The non presence of USA/Canada precedes their current Anti-UNESCO policies so that can't be a factor. There is an on line petition to try to get the UK government to sign but this has (only??) reached 10k signatures. See - https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/the-uk-government-ratifies-the-unesco-convention-on-intangible-cultural-heritage
It appears that there are "concerns" about defining Intangible heritage - and how to exclude "practices" which might be thought to be "unacceptable" see Wiki - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_for_the_Safeguarding_of_the_Intangible_Cultural_Heritage#Criticism
This article from 2006 about Australia's policy "blames" the then government for tagging on to US policy on the matter - https://www.abc.net.au/news/2006-07-04/aborigines-missing-out-on-millions-in-cultural/1793104
Does anyone know more about why these countries have not acceded ???
PS - here is full list of the 17 non joiners as of early 2019 - Canada, Israel, San Marino, United Kingdom, United States of America, Russian Federation, Guyana, Australia, Maldives, New Zealand, Niue, Angola, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Libya