The AAC is a testament to the fact that Indonesia has played a significant role ..."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Asian-African Conferences (AAC)s archives held in Bandung, West Java, in April 1955, have been preserved by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The archives have been inscribed in the Memory of the World International Register, along with 46 other nominations.

With the inclusion of the AAC archives in the Memory of the World register, the international community will now have access to the AAC documents that highlight world peace, independence, freedom, the welfare of human beings, and internationalism.

The conference was attended by 29 Asian and African countries, and was the first international assembly of Asian-African nations aimed at promoting world peace and cooperation, and freedom from colonialism and imperialism.

Among the world leaders taking part in the Bandung Conference were U Nu of Burma (Myanmar), Jawaharlal Nehru of India, Mohammed Ali Jinnah of Pakistan, Sir John Kotelawala of Ceylon (Sri Lanka), the Grand Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Amin Al-Husaini of Palestine, and Sukarno of Indonesia was the host.

The inscription of the AAC Archives was announced following a three-day meeting of the International Advisory Committee of UNESCOs Memory of the World Program in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, held from October 4 to 6.

The AAC Archives comprise a set of documents, pictures, and films related to the conference held in Bandung, Indonesia, from April 18 to 24, 1955, the Chairman of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) Iskandar Zulkarnain stated recently.

LIPI and the Indonesian National Archives (ANRI) had proposed the inclusion of the AAC Archives in the Memory of the World Register in 2012.

The proposal was supported and assisted by four other initiators of the AAC: India, Pakistan, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka.

"The AAC is a testament to the fact that Indonesia has played a significant role in promoting solidarity among the Asian and African continents," Iskandar stated at an international seminar on "Bandung Conference: Memory of the World and Emerging Forces" held in Jakarta on Oct. 28.

During the meeting in Abu Dhabi, the Committee examined and approved new items of documentary heritage proposed by 40 countries, as well as the Association for Recorded Sound Collections at its 12th meeting.

The Memory of the World Register now includes a total of 348 documents and document collections, culled from all continents and safeguards various materials from stone to celluloid and parchment to sound recordings.

While endorsing the inscriptions, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova stated, "It is my deep and firm conviction that the Memory of the World Program should be guided in its work to preserve documentary heritage and memory for the benefit of present and future generations in the spirit of international cooperation and mutual understanding, building peace in the minds of women and men."

Other Indonesian historical archives included in UNESCOs Memory of the World Register, are the Archives of the Dutch East India Company submitted by the Netherlands in 2003; Babad Diponegoro or Autobiographical Chronicle of Prince Diponegoro (1785-1855) submitted by Indonesia and the Netherlands in 2013; the La Galigo documentary heritage submitted by Indonesia and the Netherlands in 2011; and the Negarakratagama or Description of the Country (1365 AD) submitted by Indonesia in 2013.

Indonesia is now preparing a nomination of the Archives of the Borobudur Temple World Heritage site to be included as a Memory of the World.

UNESCO included the worlds largest Buddhist temple, which is located about 42 kilometers from the city of Yogyakarta, at the center of Java Island, in its World Heritage list in 1991.

The temple was built during the reign of a king belonging to the Saliendra dynasty between AD 750 and 842.

UNESCO and the Indonesian government had undertaken a complete renovation of the monument as part of a massive project that lasted from 1975 to 1983.

The Borobudur Conservation Office (BCO) and UNESCO had also held a workshop on the "Nomination of the Archives of the Borobudur Temple World Heritage site as Memory of the World," on September 9 and 10 in Borobudur.

The workshop brought together the documentary and archives teams of the BCO and was aimed at giving them the necessary training and information to support their initiative to develop a nomination for the archives of the Borobudur Conservation Office as UNESCO Memory of the World (MoW).

UNESCO also launched the Memory of the World Program in 1992 to guard against collective amnesia, calling upon the preservation of the valuable archive holdings and library collections all over the world to ensure their wide dissemination.

The Programs vision is that the worlds documentary heritage belongs to all, should be fully preserved and protected for all and, with should give due recognition to cultural mores and practicalities, should be permanently accessible to all without hindrance, information on the official website of UNESCO states.

The Program is thus intended to protect documentary heritage, and to help a network of experts exchange information and raise resources for the preservation of, and to allow access to documentary and archival collections of valuable records.

Reporter: Fardah
Editor: Priyambodo RH
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