As part of the series of regional information Member States meetings, 141 participants from 25 countries and partner institutions have taken part in ICCROM’s first virtual meeting for Latin America and the Caribbean which has taken place on April 28, 2022.

A group of participants at the virtual meeting for Latin America and the Caribbean on April 28, 2022.

The first session, moderated by ICCROM Unit managers Valerie Magar and José Luiz Pederzoli Jr., introduced the work of ICCROM and showcased its recent milestones. Over the last couple of years, our organization has continued to carry out and scale up various initiatives in the region, in the framework of the prospective activity for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), Our Collections Matter (OCM), a new initiative launched by ICCROM in 2020, and the flagship programmes, namely the First Aid and Resilience for Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis (FAR) and the World Heritage Leadership (WHL). Additionally, several training and capacity building activities for heritage sites, materials conservation, museums and collections were delivered in partnership with local and international partners of ICCROM.

Cooperation was at the heart of the second presentation that specifically underscored the role of partnership in our work and described the ways how institutions of our Member States can join forces with ICCROM to achieve shared goals. Currently, our work in the region can be supported through contributions to the programme on Heritage Management in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and other activities, staff secondments as well as sponsoring of internships and fellowships.

During the session, attendees had a chance to participate in an opinion poll to identify key areas of ICCROM’s work which are most important for further engagement in the region. This will help prioritize our future activities and facilitate planning.

The key areas selected by the attendees are

  • Disaster risk management and resilience
  • Continuing education courses for heritage sites, museums and collections and conservation of specific materials
  • Heritage collections for sustainable development (Our Collections Matter)

Interventions in Spanish and Portuguese with simultaneous translation into English stimulated a fruitful discussion at the end of the session, with the participants sharing their feedback and valuable suggestions. ICCROM Council members and representatives of our long-standing partners including Centro Nacional de Conservación y Restauración (CNCR) of Chile, Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH) of Mexico, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Association for Heritage Preservation of the Americas APOYOline and Istituto Italo Latino Americano (IILA) shared their perspectives of cooperation and expressed appreciation of the work carried out in the region together with ICCROM.

Stemming from a desire to enhance engagement in Latin America and the Caribbean, this information session was an opportunity for ICCROM to develop a more effective dialogue to better understand the needs and interests of local governments and professional institutions and carry out our work in close collaboration with them. “Our strength derives from our Member States, Council, partners and our professional network in the region. To be able to be effective, we rely on you”, said Joseph King, Senior Director, Office of the Director-General, in his closing remarks. He also mentioned the interest ICCROM has in strengthening ties with non-member countries in the region.  

ICCROM would like to thank all the guests who attended the meeting and participated in the discussion.