Museums in Small Islands Countries in the Pacific

(c)Alele Museum

Re-uniting Pacific treasures

Museums and cultural centres in small islands states in the Pacific face common challenges.  These include human, physical and financial resources, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) strategy and climate change adaptation, use of ICTs for museum management and its activities. Pacific Islands Museum Association (PIMA), an affiliated organisation of the International Council of Museum (ICOM), was established with a view to promote the sharing of experiences and networking among the museums and cultural centres in Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

Fight against Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Property

Over the years, UNESCO has provided assistance to governments in drafting and updating national policies, legislation, guidelines concerning the fight against illicit trafficking in cultural property and the establishment of national inventories, promoting good practices in this area. Its priority has been placed on the capacity building of officials at the cultural authorities, police and customs services, and museum managers and curators to promote multi-sectoral cooperation.

UNESCO promotes the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property as well as the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen and Illicitly Exported Cultural Objects in Pacific SIDS through awareness-raising and regional workshops.

In August 2015, a Melanesian Workshop on the Fight against the Illicit Trafficking in Cultural Property was held in Port Vila, Vanuatu. The Workshop brought together delegates from the Melanesian countries as well as the INTERPOL France, the Oceania Customs Organisation (OCO), and the Secretariat of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG). One of the outcomes of this Workshop was the Port Vila Declaration.  The final report of the Workshop is available online.

UNESCO supports extend assistance to Pacific SIDS to prepare the reports on the application of the UNESCO 2005 Recommendation concerning the Protection and Promotion of Museums and Collections, their Diversity and their Role in Society (2005 Recommendation).


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