It was in the spirit of working together that ICCROM welcomed representatives from 29 Member States and Permanent Observer in Europe and North America to our first regionally focused information session, held virtually on 22 June 2021.
The programme for the event emphasised ICCROM’s deep ties with the two continents and showcased our ongoing work with a diverse range of European and North American partners – all in a bid to maximise our impact in these regions through greater consultation and collaboration with Member States.
Following opening remarks by ICCROM’s Director-General Webber Ndoro, a series of presentations sought to contextualise some of our current activities in terms of their real-world benefits. Speakers and their topics included:
- Eugene Jo, Programme Manager, World Heritage Leadership, who outlined ICCROM’s role as an advisory body to the World Heritage Committee and detailed our leading work on sustainable development for heritage sites.
- José Luiz Pedersoli Jr., Unit Manager, Strategic Planning, who highlighted an innovative new programme aimed at empowering collections-based organizations to support broader sustainable change.
- Aparna Tandon, Senior Programme Leader, First Aid and Resilience for Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis, who explained why ‘culture cannot wait’ when it comes to disaster risk management and safeguarding heritage in crises.
- Alison Heritage, Project Manager, Strategic Planning and Research, who gave insights into the types of cutting-edge research that could transform the heritage sector; and
- Valerie Magar, Unit Manager, Programmes, who discussed the many ways ICCROM supports heritage professionals through capacity building initiatives.
A recurring theme was the importance of partnerships in realising the full potential of ICCROM’s work in Europe and North America; a point reiterated by ICCROM’s Director of Partnership and Communication Joseph King, who encouraged those present to consider how closer cooperation can lead to mutual benefit.
Similarly, the Director-General underscored the value of more regular engagement, so as to better understand and respond to the needs of Member States. During the meeting, attendees were invited to ask questions and share feedback – the start of an open dialogue that we intend to continue and expand upon. For now, our thanks go to all those who were able to attend and contribute.