The Korean National Commission for UNESCO recently organised a regional training workshop for participants from the Asia – Pacific Region which was held from 11th – 14th March, 2011 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The training workshop was the second to be held for the region and was jointly organised with the Indonesian MOW National Committee and the Indonesian National Commission for UNESCO.

Fiji was represented at this workshop by the Director of the National Archives Mr Misiwaini Qereqeretabua. Participants from other Pacific Islands included Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste. Most of the other Asian country representatives were from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia, Laos and Myanmar.

The main objectives of the three days workshop were to:

¨      Increase awareness of the existence and significance of Asia – Pacific documentary heritages;

¨      Assist countries in the Asia – Pacific region that do not have any registered documentary heritage on the UNESCO Memory of the World International Register to identify important documentary heritage that have world significance;

¨      Assist selected countries in preparing their applications for nomination to the International Register;

¨      Increase the number of submissions and inscriptions of nomination forms for the UNESCO Memory of the World International and Regional Register by Asia – Pacific countries as a result of the workshop.

Fiji’s draft nomination (Records of the Pacific Island Labourers) to this workshop which was sent from the National Archives was discussed during the group discussion session where participants from the Pacific island countries talked about their individual nominations and shared some important issues where a joint nomination from the Pacific region could be facilitated for the regional & international registers.

Mr Qereqeretabua in his report to the Fiji Memory of the World Committee, recommended a few important issues such as Fiji to play an active role in the MOW initiatives in the Asia Pacific region,

Fiji’s MOW National Committee and relevant institution to foster stronger network with regional & international partners who have vested interest in the protection and promotion of documentary heritage, more awareness programmes be made on the significance of MOW and the role that stakeholders can play and most importantly, the government & FMOWC to provide more support in the preservation, maintenance and accessibility of the documentary heritage kept in the cultural institutions that house these collections such as the National Archives and the Fiji Museum.




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