Building peace in the minds of men and women

Strengthening Memory of the World Programme in the Caribbean

UNESCO, in collaboration with the National Library and Information System Authority (NALIS) and the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO, organized a Pan-Caribbean Consultative Workshop on Memory of the World. Participants from 10 Caribbean countries and territories (Anguilla, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago) attended the Workshop held in Port of Spain from 25 to 27 September 2013.

The workshop was organized to promote and strengthen the Memory of the World (MoW) programme in the region by creating a greater awareness about the Programme; increasing the number of nominations at the national, regional and international levels; developing a CARICOM MoW action plan for 2013-2015; devising strategies on how to work effectively with countries that do not have national MoW committees; and assisting in the creation of such committees.

The workshop was completed with a call upon Caribbean countries to increase the number of nominations to the MoW Registers, and to closely cooperate in developing and strengthening their capacities.

2013 marked the 21st anniversary of the Memory of the World programme and 13th anniversary of the Memory of the World Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean (MOWLAC). Since the creation of the Programme, eight countries from the English-speaking Caribbean (Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago) and two Dutch-speaking countries (Curacao and Suriname) have had 27 collections of documentary heritage inscribed on the International Register and 31 collections inscribed on the MOWLAC Regional Register. Out of 27 inscriptions on the MoW International Register and 31 inscriptions on the MOWLAC Register, 13 were joint nominations among several countries.

There are only four national committees existing in the region: in Barbados, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago. The Committee in Trinidad and Tobago has been very active and is engaged in promoting the MoW programme, nominating documents, conducting seminars and organizing exhibitions to promote the Memory of the World.