— Begin process to establish a national world memory committee
Founded in 1847, Liberia is a country rich and diverse in documentary heritage, yet the country has faced many challenges in safeguarding this rich heritage, especially during the 14-year civil crisis (1989-2003).
However, to change the narrative, the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) in collaboration with United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) office in Liberia, has begun the process to establish the country’s first-ever national Memory of the World (MoW) Committee, which will collect and register documented material heritage.
The discussion to establish the committee comes at the end of a two-day workshop on the MoW Committee organized by MICAT and UNESCO from June 18-19, 2019.
When established, the committee, according to Darius D. Gweh, Director of Culture at MICAT, will work with the government to prepare Liberia’s nomination of documentary heritage for inscription into the international memory of the world register.
Mr. Gweh added that the UNESCO’s MoW program, founded in 1992, aims to safeguard and protect documentary heritage, especially that which is rare and preserved for wider dissemination.
“The foremost task of the national MoW committee, when established, is to embark on research to uncover valuable documentary heritage, and begin a campaign for its preservation,” Mr. Gweh said.
He added: “We need this committee more then ever before, because most of our valuable documentary heritage are now at risk of being lost if we do not resolve the situation to preserve them. It is, for this reason, that we are doing everything humanly possible to establish this committee that would work to preserve and safeguard the nation’s documentary heritage.”
Mr. Gweh also said that the establishment of a national MoW Committee is critically important to ensure the sustainability of the program.
Meanwhile, the two-day workshop, which ended on Wednesday, June 19, 2019, brought together over 30 representatives from government institutions that oversee museums, archives and the collective societies.
At the end of the workshop, participants developed terms of reference, the composition of the committee, procedures and selection criteria for nominations to MoW register; and said that MICAT should take responsibility in the follow-up process to establish the national MoW committee.