Nomination process for the 2016/2017 cycle of the Memory of the Word International Register

In line with the nominations process of the Memory of the World Programme (MoW), the UNESCO Secretariat has been receiving proposals for the 2016/2017 nomination cycle for possible inscription on the MoW International Register.

To this date,130 proposals have been received by the secretariat of the MoW Programme by the deadline of 31 May, 2016.

In the context of the 38th session of the General Conference‎ in November 2015, Member States have been calling for the strengthening of the MoW Programme - which was created in 1992 -  in light of new circumstances, notably to reaffirm its role as a tool for dialogue and cooperation between countries and to inform future generations about the importance of preserving digital heritage.

In this respect, the 2016/2017 cycle is occurring at the same time as‎ the review of the MoW programme, undertaken by the International Advisory Committee, which was welcomed by UNESCO Member States in a decision at the 199th session of the UNESCO Executive Board in Spring 2016. 

In line with Member States’ calls, the current review is designed to strengthen the transparency of processes of the MoW Programme and its alignment with UNESCO’s overall mission to advance dialogue, mutual respect and understanding between countries and societies.

“As per the MoW General Guidelines to Safeguard Documentary Heritage, the secretariat has recorded each nomination, confirmed receipt to the nominator and is presently verifying contents and accompanying documentation,” said Frank La Rue, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information. “The secretariat is in discussion regarding a number of proposals, in terms of required documentation and compliance. At the same time, the process of transmitting complete nominations has started to the Register Sub-committee for assessment and recommendation,” continued Frank La Rue. “As such, the posting online of nominations for the 2016/2017 cycle will be effective once all the necessary steps have been completed.”

The submission of a nomination is the beginning of a detailed process, in which complete nominations will be reviewed according to set criteria by the Register Sub-committee and the International Advisory Committee, for decision on possible inscription. 

Throughout the process, the UNESCO Director-General has been clear on the importance of bolstering the MoW Programme as the basis for greater solidarity and cooperation between all countries. This draws also on the preamble to the Recommendation concerning the Preservation of and Access to Documentary Heritage, including in Digital Form, that was agreed by Member States at the 2015 UNESCO General Conference, underlining the importance of documentary heritage “to promote the sharing of knowledge for greater understanding and dialogue, in order to promote peace and respect for freedom, democracy, human rights and dignity.”

“Today, more than ever, there is an urgent need for dialogue, respect and understanding – to preserve, promote and share humanity’s documentary heritage as a foundation for strengthening humanity as a single community, sharing a past and a future,” said Irina Bokova. “This is what UNESCO stands for.”



Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information 

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