European consultation on implementing UNESCO’s 2015 Recommendation underway

05 February 2018

A sub-regional online consultation has started at the European Network of National Commissions for UNESCO in order to solicit feedback on possible modalities for more effectively implementing the 2015 Recommendation concerning the preservation of, and access to, documentary heritage including in digital form.

The network brings together cooperating National Commissions of the European Union Member and candidate States, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Member States and a number of other countries bound to the EU through special cooperation agreements.

Coordinated by the National Commissions for UNESCO of the Netherlands, Poland and Germany, the consultation aims to get such feedback from the network’s participating National Commissions and Memory of the World National Committees. It is expected that such input will contribute significantly towards refining the reporting modalities developed by UNESCO.

Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, Vincent Wintermans, Policy Officer of the Netherlands National Commission for UNESCO, said the consultation started in January and will continue until about mid-February.

Reinforcing Mr Wintermans’ comments, Fackson Banda, UNESCO’s Programme Specialist in charge of the Memory of the World (MoW) Programme, pointed out that UNESCO Member States will be expected to report to the 2019 General Conference on actions they will have taken in implementing the Recommendation in their national policies, strategies and legislation since its adoption in 2015.

Banda added: “As such, this online consultation is an opportune moment to shape how Member States, along with key Memory of the World stakeholders, will make the Recommendation become a viable framework for national action and reporting. We encourage this initiative by the European Network, which mirrors our own efforts to organize a series of regional consultations for sub-Saharan Africa and the Arab States later this year.”

The MoW Programme, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, is underpinned by a three-fold vision of preserving documentary heritage, providing universal access to it, and raising public awareness of its shared cultural value.