16.11.2011 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

UNESCO adopt universal declaration on archives

© International Council on ArchivesPapa Momar Diop, the Ambassador of Senegal at UNESCO and the former National Archivist of Senegal and Jens Boel, Head Archivist at UNESCO celebrate the new Declaration.

The Ambassador of Senegal to UNESCO and former National Archivist of Senegal, Papa Momar Diop, has played a significant role in making this happening.

In one of the most significant developments for archives at the international level for many years, the General Conference of UNESCO has unanimously endorsed the Universal Declaration on Archives proposed by the International Council on Archives.

It is the culmination of intense efforts led by Papa Momar Diop, the Ambassador of Senegal at UNESCO and the former National Archivist of Senegal. He has been supported by Jens Boel, Head Archivist at UNESCO, and activists in the ICA network throughout the world.

Landmark decision

“This landmark decision is an important step in improving public understanding of archives”, says the International Council of Archives in a news release.

“The Declaration emphasizes the key role of archives in administrative transparency and democratic accountability, as well as the preservation of collective social memory.”

The first version of the Declaration was written by archivists in Québec in 2007.

It has been many stimulating debates before it was approved in September 2010. Since then the international archival community has worked to have the Declaration adopted by UNESCO.

“The challenge now is to use the Declaration to maximum effect, so that archives shake off outdated perceptions of their role and finally take their rightful place as a major player at heart of public administration and the center of social memory,” says Jens Boel of UNESCO.




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