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Reviewing the MoW General Guidelines: Reflections on the Experience of 2015–2017

  • Ray EdmondsonEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Heritage Studies book series (HEST)

Abstract

The General Guidelines, the basic “rule book” of the Memory of the World (MoW) Programme, were fundamentally reviewed and revised over a 2-year period, beginning in October 2015 and concluding in December 2017. I led this process; I recount here the complex progression of events and offer some reflections on them. The formal rationale for the revision was that the current General Guidelines, adopted in 2002, were badly out of date and did not adequately serve the present size, profile and needs of the Programme. An expert Working Group was assembled and an extensive process of public consultation, dialogue, drafting and redrafting followed, which this chapter recounts. However, a logical and diligent enterprise was greatly complicated by the politicised circumstances in which it proceeded, and by a series of abnormalities and failures of due process, which – at the time of writing – have left the outcome of the Review in limbo. In particular, the attempts by certain Japanese interests to disrupt the process and change some basic principles of MoW are discussed in detail. In conclusion, I consider the implications of the outcome for the future integrity of MoW and its congruence with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)‘s guiding principles.

Keywords

Guidelines Review Lobbying MoW International Advisory Committee Politics 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MOWCAP (Memory of the World Committee for Asia and the Pacific)CanberraAustralia

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