UNESCO National Commission Solidifies Plans for National Memory of the World Committee

nmqNATCOM (SKN)-Basseterre: April 30, 2013: The UNESCO National Committee has started discussions on creating a National Memory of the World Committee which would be responsible for identifying archival and other records which stand out as being items of great national value.

Mrs. Victoria Borg O’Flaherty, a recently appointed member of UNESCO’s International Memory of the World Committee, addressed members of the National Commission for UNESCO enlightening them on relevant information in relation to the rationale for creating the National Memory of the World Committee.

She advised that members of the committee should be aware of the history of St. Kitts and Nevis and understand the value of records. They should also be able to debate and make suggestions as to which could be considered of national importance as well as those which can be forwarded for regional consideration. A number of prospective committee members were identified in keeping with the qualifications.

Mrs. O’Flaherty also revealed that collections which would be most suitable would include those previously held in collection areas such as the National Archives, Nevis Historical and Conservation Society, ZIZ, as well as the National Trust. They would include specific items such as maps, photographs, music, newspapers and records. Professionals from the aforementioned organizations were recommended as prospective members of the national committee.

Ms. O’Flaherty explained that while one objective would be to raise national awareness for records held locally, the ultimate goal is to see qualifying items recognized regionally and eventually internationally by attaining UNESCO’s prestigious Memory of The World ranking.

Secretary General of the National Commission for UNESCO, Mr. Antonio Maynard, indicated that the commission would continue to actively pursue this and similar activities to advance the human development agenda by means of UNESCO’s support and assistance.

He added that the National Memory of the World Committee is a critical component of the programme which implements five strategies in making its decisions. These include identification of documentary heritage; raising awareness, preservation, access and structures as well as status and relationships.

Mr. Maynard commended Mrs O’Flaherty for her passionate pursuit of activities related to the archival preservation of national records.

The mission of the Memory of the World Programme is to facilitate preservation of the world’s documentary heritage; assist universal access to documentary heritage and increase awareness of its existence and significance.

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