onsdag den 11. november 2015

Preservation and access to documentary heritage is important, also the digital heritage #UNESCO

At my second speech at UNESCO's General Conference I got the chance both to say libraries, archives and museums and to emphasize that they need sufficient resources

Denmark agrees with the fact that preservation and access to documentary heritage is becoming more and more important, not least because of the fast development of the Internet and the digital technologies as well as with the well-documented need for updated legislation at the national level. Denmark has thus supported that the Director-General elaborates a draft recommendation on preservation and access to documentary heritage including digital heritage, as it is becoming more and more obvious that many aspects hereof are not covered by existing heritage conventions and recommendations.


The consultation process has been quite comprehensive and the draft recommendation does include all relevant aspects, both the heritage aspects and the legal and intellectual property related aspects. Also issues related to the protection of privacy must be thoroughly reflected.

Denmark supports that civil society organisations and research and higher education institutions will be part of the committees selecting the documentary heritage.

Denmark would however like to once again underline that such a recommendation must be developed with maximum synergy with existing heritage conventions, not least to limit the financial consequences for UNESCO.

For a recommendation to succeed, libraries, archives and museums will have to play an important role at the national level and if these institutions do not have adequate resources, it may compromise the possible new recommendation. It it also a concern of Denmark that, given the present financial and human resource limitations, a possible new recommendation will have to rely on extra-budgetary funds, which is clearly not the best way of financing an international legal instrument.

Denmark would like ADG/CI to share with Member States how the financing of a possible new recommendation will be secured and which other programme activities the Sector will give less priority should the new recommendation be adopted by the General Conference.

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