Władysław Stępniak, Pierwszy akt normatywny UNESCO w sprawie ochrony dziedzictwa dokumentacyjnego, w: Archeion, T. 117, wyd. NDAP, Warszawa 2016, s. 54-71
Władysław Stępniak, UNESCO’s First Normative Act on the Protection of Documentary Heritage.
UNESCO’s Memory of the World Program was adopted in 1992 under very special circumstances.
At that time, it became apparent that the policy previously applied by this important international
organization with respect to cultural heritage was in need of some urgent corrections. The tragic
outcomes of war raging in the territories of the former Yugoslavia and infl icting considerable losses
upon archives, libraries and museums were the decisive factor that stimulated efforts aiming to draw
the international community’s attention to the urgent need to reinforce the protection of the affected
institutions’ resources. The fact that the collections of those remembrance institutions were not included
in the defi nition of cultural heritage presented in the “Convention on the Protection of World
Cultural and Natural Heritage” dated 16 November 1972, hence depriving the said collections of the
protection guaranteed under the act of public international law in question, required that new actions
be undertaken in the then-existing situation.
Following the actual launch of the Memory of the World Program, Poland has been playing a very
active role in the implementation of this very important initiative, as manifested, inter alia, in its efforts
aimed at reinforcing the protection of documentary heritage under international law. Pursuing this objective,
Poland undertook to organize, in Warsaw, three very important conferences attended by experts
from all over the world and held in 2011–2014. Those efforts have contributed to UNESCO’s General
Conference adopting, in November 2015, the fi rst ever normative act concerned with documentary heritage.
The said act has the form of the UNESCO Recommendation — Safeguarding the Memory of the
World and deals with archiving and providing access to documentary heritage, including in digital form.
It was adopted along with a resolution recommending that the Member States adapt it to local conditions,
implement it, promote knowledge thereof, and, first and foremost, create the conditions that foster its implementation,
by ensuring the introduction of relevant policies and amending legal regulations. Advising
that the recommendation’s implementation process be monitored, the General Conference obliged the
governments of Member States to submit, to UNESCO, relevant reports in 4-year intervals.
The developments referred to above have resulted in the creation, by UNESCO, of protection and
accessibility standards applicable to documentary heritage, including archival collections on a general
scale, that the international community should apply in order to safeguard and provide wide access to
its documentary heritage, now considered to be an integral part of humanity’s cultural heritage.
Źródło: http://archiwalna.archiwa.gov.pl/images/stories/Archeion%20117_online.pdf (dostęp z 13.11.2017)