Hue City in Vietnam hosts a Memory of the World regional meeting

On the invitation of the Hue Monuments Conservation Centre (HMCC), in coordination with the Vietnam National Commission for UNESCO and MOWCAP's Secretariat, the 7th General Meeting of the Memory of the World Committee for Asia and the Pacific (MOWCAP) took place from 18 to 20 May 2016, in Hue City, Vietnam.

The event was opened by the Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Vietnam, Ms Dang Thi Bich Lien. In his address to the participants, Ms Lien emphasized that Vietnam, as a country with a diverse and rich culture, highly appreciates the role of UNESCO in supporting the preservation of cultural and documentary heritage worldwide. Also, stressing the significance of MOWCAP in identifying and preserving unique documentary heritage in the region, Vietnam is attaching great importance to heritage preservation with 8 world heritage sites, 10 intangible cultural heritage and 4 documentary heritage items recognized by  UNESCO.

In his opening remarks, Ambassador Pham Sanh Chau, Secretary-General of the Vietnam National Commission for UNESCO, emphasized that Vietnam greatly values UNESCO’s heritage programmes and is particularly eager to play an active role in  strengthening and promoting  the MoW Programme.

<h2>The UNESCO Bangkok office representative, Misako Ito, reminded the theme of the 2016 World Press Freedom Day, “Access to Information and Fundamental Freedoms – This is Your Right” highlighting in this context the importance of public access to information  as a crucial pre-condition to achieving all of SDGs.</h2>

The 7th MOWCAP meeting was attended by some 66 delegates representing 16 countries of Asia and the Pacific and 40 participants from different Vietnamese institutions involved in preservation of documentary heritage. The objective of the meeting was to review MOWCAP’s past activities,  including the work programme adopted at the previous general meeting; to discuss the undergoing review process of the Programme’s General Guidelines and Companion. Participants also reviewed and discussed proposals for inscriptions to the regional Register, based on the recommendations of the MOWCAP Register Subcommittee.

Within the framework of MOWCAP, a one-day workshop was organized to introduce and provide guidance on the implementation of the recently adopted UNESCO normative instrument, the Recommendation concerning the Preservation of, and Access to Documentary Heritage, including in Digital Form.

The MOWCAP meeting reviewed 16 new proposals for inscription on the regional Register, out of which 14 have been approved. The total number of the inscribed items on the MOWCAP Register reaches  now 46 items  from 23 countries.

UNESCO launched the Memory of the World Programme in 1992 to guard against collective amnesia calling upon the preservation of the valuable archive holdings and library collections all over the world ensuring their wide dissemination. The Programme is intended to protect documentary heritage, and helps networks of experts to exchange information and raise resources for preservation of, and access to, documentary material.