Archives are essential components of any strategy aimed at improving information access, both for the public at large and for specialised groups. Since its creation, UNESCO has contributed to the reinforcement of these types of services.
The development of information technologies, and in particular the Internet, has created a completely new environment in which the role of traditional information services must be thoroughly revised. The potential of networking, cooperation and digitisation modify substantially the functions of acquiring, storing and disseminating information and knowledge. Here, special attention must be paid to the least developed countries so that they do not lag behind technological advances.
In the area of archives, UNESCO, through its Records and Archives Management Programme - RAMP (established in 1979) aims at:
- Making the general public and decision-makers aware of the importance of records and archives for planning and development safeguarding of the national heritage;
- Assisting Member States in the establishment of efficient records and archives management infrastructures through standardization , archival legislation, training, and enhancing infrastructure (buildings and equipment);
- Promoting international debates on main issues in the archival field