National Archives to host UN experts and policy makers

National Archives to host UN experts and policy makers

National Archives to host UN experts and policy makers
Global experts in digital archiving to meet in Abu Dhabi for UNESCO event

Under the aegis of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), experts from 10 countries gathered in Abu Dhabi during 14-16 March 2016 to deliberate on the further development of digital preservation policies. The National Archives, UAE will host the second meeting of the PERSIST (Platform to Enhance the Sustainability of the Information Society Transglobally) project as part of UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme.
Dr. Abdulla El Reyes, Director General of the National Archives, who is the current chairman of the International Advisory Committee of the Memory of the World Programme, presided over the three-day PERSIST meeting.
PERSIST is a joint initiative of UNESCO, ICA (International Council of Archives) and IFLA (International Federation for Library Associations and Institutions) to foster high-level policy dialogue among heritage institutions, government and industry on digital preservation.
The Abu Dhabi meeting is in follow-up to the first PERSIST meeting held in Paris in April 2015, which focused on technology, content selection and the role of national strategies for digital sustainability while showcasing good practices from the UK, the Netherlands, India and the UAE. 
UNESCO established the Memory of the World Programme in 1992 in order to increase awareness of the need to preserve and provide access to endangered documentary heritage that is facing destruction in various parts of the world due to wars and other reasons.

Along with Dr. El Reyes, Mr. Frank Larue, Assistant Director General for Communication and Information of UNESCO and Ms. Andrée van Es, President, Netherlands UNESCO Commission addressed the welcoming session of the meeting.
“Hosting such an important UNESCO meeting will further stimulate the UAE National Archives, a pioneering archiving body in the region, to accelerate its efforts in adopting state-of-the-art digital preservation techniques” said Dr. El Reyes. 
“The PERSIST meeting will provide a solid platform for heritage institutions in formulating policies to deal with digital formats of the past, the present and the future,” he said.
The three-day meeting will be attended by more than 30 eminent professionals that include senior UNESCO experts, heads of archives, and specialists in the field of national archives and libraries from 10 countries, including the US, the UK, China, Japan, Australia and the Netherlands. 
The PERSIST meeting will seek solutions to various problems currently faced in the field of archiving, formulate policies and guidelines for documentation of heritage, and deliberate on a range of issues related to the organization of platforms for the preservation of technological heritage.