The UNESCO Memory of the World Programme Course is one of the key modules of the second phase of the ICCROM-Ministry of Culture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (MoC) “Experts Program.” Phase one of the ambitious capacity-building project was successfully conducted in 2022.
In the framework of the continuous collaboration between the Ministry of Culture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the ICCROM Regional Office in Sharjah (ICCROM-Sharjah), Dr Jan Bos and Dr Joachim Gierlichs, documentary heritage experts, facilitated the ICCROM-Sharjah online course from 24 to 29 October 2023. The course was designed as an interactive exercise analyzing step-by-step the nomination process and the nomination form using two case studies proposed by the Royal Commission of AlUla. Course participants included 23 university professors and Ministry of Culture officials.
The “Experts Program” stems from the collaboration between the Ministry of Culture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the ICCROM Regional Office in Sharjah (ICCROM-Sharjah) and the UNESCO Regional Office in Cairo with the aim to organize and deliver ten high-quality courses for academics, professionals and civil servants to establish a qualified group of experts that will manage the implementation of five international Cultural Heritage Conventions, three other cultural programmes and two natural heritage programmes. The second phase encompasses the following international conventions:
- The Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003)
- The World Heritage Convention, 1972
- The Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export, and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (1970)
- The Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (The Hague Convention, 1954) and its two Protocols
- The Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage (2001)
- Industrial Heritage programme
- The UNESCO Creative Cities Network programme
- The UNESCO Memory of the World programme
- The Man and Biosphere programme
- The International Geosciences & Geoparks programme
The training module dedicated to the implementation of the UNESCO Memory of the World programme follows a UNESCO consultation workshop organized within UNESCO’s partnership with the Royal Commission for AlUla by the UNESCO Memory of the World Secretariat on 22 and 23 October 2023 in Riyadh.
"UNESCO launched the Memory of the World (MoW) Programme in 1992 to guard against collective amnesia, calling upon the preservation of the valuable archive holdings and library collections all over the world and ensuring their wide dissemination. The Programme’s vision is that the world’s documentary heritage belongs to all, should be fully preserved and protected for all, and, with due recognition of cultural mores and practicalities, should be permanently accessible to all without hindrance."
Documentary heritage is an integral part of the cultural Heritage of humankind; its safeguarding and transmission are as important as the safeguarding of cultural heritage, which is the focus of the Experts Program.