20.10.2003 -

Cyberspace Recommendation and E-Heritage Charter adopted by UNESCO's Member States

Two standard-setting instruments concerning information and communication technology have been adopted by UNESCO's Member States during the 32nd session of the Organization's General Conference that ended last Friday: one on multilingualism in cyberspace and access to the internet and the other on the preservation of digital heritage.

The Recommendation on the Promotion and Use of Multilingualism and Universal Access to Cyberspace*, concerning four aspects that must be taken into consideration so that the greatest number profit from the potential of ICT: development and promotion of multilingual content and systems; Access to networks and service; Development of public domain content; and Reaffirming and promoting the fair balance between the interests of rights-holders and the public interest. These measures aim to provide more equitable access to information and favour the development of multicultural knowledge societies.


The Charter on the Preservation of the Digital Heritage* is a declaration of principle designed to assist Member States in preparing national policies to preserve, and provide access to, digital heritage. The digital heritage consists of unique resources of human knowledge and expression, be they cultural, educational, scientific or administrative, as well as technical, legal, medical and other kinds of information created digitally or converted into digital form from existing analogue resources. This fast growing heritage is particularly at risk because of the rapid obsolescence of the hardware and software with which it is generated and preserved. The Charter recognizes that this material constitutes a common heritage and that its preservation requires urgent measures.

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