04.08.2015 - UNESCO Office in Jakarta

UNESCO Memory of the World Capacity Building Initiative Organised in Timor-Leste

UNESCO, the Regional Committee for the Memory of the World Program Asia-Pacific (MoWCAP), and the State Secretariat of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Timor-Leste, have collaborated to hold a training workshop from the 27-28 of July 2015 in Dili, Timor-Leste. The workshop was held as part of the wider project entitled ‘Safeguarding the Documentary Heritage and Developing the National Library and Archives of Timor-Leste through the UNESCO Memory of the World (MoW) Program’ and brought together over 30 participants from key cultural institutions in Timor-Leste.

The workshop began with the launch of the booklet ‘Memory of the World: Asia Pacific Program’ by H.E Ms. Maria Isabel de Jesus Ximenes, the State Secretary for Tourism Arts and Culture. The booklet, written in Tetum, Portuguese, and English, explains how the UNESCO MoW program aims to support the safeguarding and increased access to the worlds’ documentary heritage. The booklet also highlights the rich documentary heritage of the Asia Pacific region through a number of case studies of collections that have already been recognized on the UNESCO MoW registers. The booklet will be distributed to the public and key agencies in Timor-Leste.

The workshop program itself was conducted over two days and aimed to introduce participants to the overall objective and purpose of the MoW program, the nomination process to the international and regional MoW registers, and to map out the steps needed for Timor-Leste to establish its own National MoW Committee. The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Ray Edmonson, Special Advisor to the MoWCAP Bureau, and Dr. Roslyn Russell, Chair of the UNESCO Australian MoW Committee. The first day of the workshop was dedicated to theoretical work, while the second day involved participants identifying significant documentary heritage in Timor-Leste with potential for the MoW registers. A number of significant collections were identified by participants including the records of the Timor-Leste Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation and the records of the National Archive relating to the 1999 independence referendum. 

The workshop was followed by three days of intensive meetings and site visits by the two experts with key cultural agencies involved in the safeguarding of documentary heritage in Timor-Leste.  The objective of these meetings was to learn more about what initiatives are taking place in Timor-Leste, share how the MoW could benefit in this work, and establish the road map for the establishment of a Timor-Leste National Committee for the MoW Program. The experts will develop a report with detailed recommendations that will be translated in to Tetum and shared with key stakeholders in Timor-Leste. Following this, a national meeting will take place to discuss the next steps in developing a Timor-Leste National Committee for the UNESCO MoW program.

UNESCO launched the Memory of the World Programme in 1992 to guard against collective amnesia calling upon the preservation of the valuable archive holdings and library collections all over the world ensuring their wide dissemination. The Programme vision is that the world's documentary heritage belongs to all, should be fully preserved and protected for all and, with due recognition of cultural mores and practicalities, should be permanently accessible to all without hindrance. The Programme is thus intended to protect documentary heritage, and to help networks of experts to exchange information and raise resources for the preservation of, and the access to, documentary and archival collections of valuable records.

'Images courtesy of the State Secretariat of Tourism, Arts and Culture and Dr. Roslyn Russel'

To download the booklet click here

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For further information please contact Andrew Henderson: a.henderson(at)unesco.org

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