Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones (FP)

Barbados is among a number of countries in the region whose documentary heritage is being considered by the International Advisory Committee (IAC) of the Memory of the World (MoW) Programme, for possible inscription to the MoW register in 2011.

This was disclosed today by Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones, at the opening ceremony of the 9th Meeting of the IAC of the MoW Programme at the Accra Beach Hotel.

He revealed that the advisory committee will be considering the Dame Nita Barrow Collection, the Federal Archives, the Richard B. Moore Collection, the Barbados Land Registration Titles of the 18th Century and the Frank Collymore Fond for inclusion in the register. The MoW Programme was established to guard against collective amnesia and to ensure that there is universal access to the documentary heritage of the world, regardless of its format.

Minister Jones also told IAC members that Barbados had emerged as a leader in the promotion of the preservation of documentary heritage in this region, and had developed a model of best-practice in the area of heritage preservation that could be used as a catalyst for future development among Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

He reiterated Government’s commitment to heritage preservation, pointing out that one of its major strategic national objectives was the strengthening of our national identity. "We have recognised that the identity of our people is deeply rooted in our history, language and culture. As a consequence, we accept that we must reinforce who we are in order to overcome the challenges of global change," he said.

Mr. Jones further noted that plans were on stream to establish a slave museum on the island by 2015, and for achieving international heritage status for heritage sites, such as the Barbados Slave Route.

This is the first time that an IAC meeting is being held in the Latin American/Caribbean region, and also the first time that IAC members are convening in a Small Island Developing State. Representatives from 25 countries are attending the session.

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