MOWCAP moves on: Bangkok beckons Bureau
Preparations for Memory, an exciting new coffee table book on Asia Pacific documentary heritage, final planning for an imminent regional workshop in Seoul, and the launch of Thailand's national Memory of the World register - just some of the items on the crowded agenda of the 9th Bureau meeting of the MOWCAP (UNESCO Memory of the World Committee for Asia Pacific), held in Bangkok, Thailand, from 1 to 4 February.
The meeting was generously hosted by the Thai national MOW Committee, with the support of the Ministries of Culture and Education, and held at the National Archives of Thailand. In addition to its own agenda, the Bureau also held a joint meeting with Thai MOW Committee, a very active body chaired by Professor Khunying Maenmas Chavalit.
Young people figured conspicuously in the proceedings. UNESCO volunteers for peace, Tu Alfonso and Taweef Kashooo, presented their views on the links between peace and the preservation of documentary heritage. Preservation issues relating to Thai heritage already inscribed on the international and Asia Pacific MOW registers were considered when the Bureau inspected the King Ram Khamhaeng Inscription in the National Museum, and the Epigraphic Archives at the Wat Pho monastery.
Reports on MOW activities from across the region were reviewed. The recent creation of a new National MOW Committee in Fiji - the first in the Pacific - was welcomed. Measures for fundraising and upgrading the MOWCAP website were agreed, as was the concept of developing the extended Bureau as a general information resource. MOWCAP's mandate (from the 2008 International MOW Conference) to develop ideas for complementation between UNESCO's MOW, World Heritage and Intangible Heritage programs were taken a step further with major discussion papers.
The MOWCAP Bureau manages the work of the Asia Pacific Committee between the biennial general meetings of MOWCAP. It most recently met in Canberra in February 2008, and will next convene in Macau in March 2010. The extended Bureau comprises Chair, Ray Edmondson; Vice-chair, Carmen Padilla; Secretary-General, Helen Swinnerton; UNESCO Regional Advisor for Communication and Information, Dr Susanne Ornager; Subcommittee chairs, Dr Rujaya Abhakorn and Professor Eun-su Cho; Memory editor, Nick Deocampo; Special advisers, Sarah Choy, Simon Chu, Richard Engelhardt, Akira Genba, and Jinsung Jeon.
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