As Director-General, I made the pledge to accomplish the Organization’s mission by putting the emphasis on innovation, transparency and strong partnerships, while at the same time capitalizing on ICCROM’s remarkable experience and institutional knowledge. In threading these factors together with the various trends in countries and contexts, I can say that the work of the Secretariat is becoming more targeted, measurable, and cohesive. Team ICCROM, as I referred to it in my first address to Member States, knows well the importance of inclusivity and sharing, with Member States and inside the house. Over 2018, I have made it a point to reach out to and find opportunities to meet the Ambassadors and diplomatic representatives of our Member States, whether in their embassies in Rome or on mission.
ICCROM has continued its flagship training and advisory activities, including the First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis course, the World Heritage Leadership programme, and training and knowledge partnerships around the world. All of our activities are made possible thanks to strong partnerships and the generosity of several of our Member States. We have furthered regional collaboration through ICCROM-Sharjah with Oman and Sudan, and national support through the international proliferation of RE-ORG projects and activities supporting preventive conservation in museum storage. Similarly, ICCROM participated in UNESCO’s field expert emergency mission to Rio de Janeiro that will help guide global efforts to restore Brazil’s National Museum following the devastating fire in September 2018.
The Secretariat continues to implement IPSAS compliance in order to ensure ICCROM's work is of maximum transparency. Nonetheless, I am convinced that ICCROM’s most important asset is its staff and their invaluable experience. Various internal working groups are developing views and position papers on a number of issues that will also have an impact on efficiency and transparency, including staff rules and regulations. In addition, the participation of staff in the Council Working Groups is an added value in strengthening collaboration between the Secretariat and ICCROM’s governing bodies.
In terms of the restructuring exercise requested by Council, ICCROM in 2018 began the search for a consulting company to guide us through reorganization. This process is moving forward, and I am convinced it will enable ICCROM to strengthen its focus on addressing the Strategic Directions identified by Council and ensuring better service delivery to its Member States.
Overall, Team ICCROM is working together to enhance a vision designed to improve internal operations and find new ways to serve ICCROM’s Member States and institutions for the sake of preserving cultural heritage worldwide.