Documentary Heritage in the Digital Age: Symposium and Consultation to Advance Access, Preservation and Cooperation in ASEAN+3 countries

First global event of its kind aims to develop action plan for implementation of landmark UNESCO Recommendation on documentary heritage

Much of Southeast Asia’s rich documentary heritage is at risk due to improper or inadequate safeguarding measures, or is not easily accessible to all citizens. UNESCO’s Recommendation concerning the Preservation of, and Access to, Documentary Heritage including in Digital Form, agreed to all by UNESCO Member States in 2015, deals directly with these challenges.

The Recommendation serves as the most up-to-date tool available to governments, museums, archives, libraries, the private sector and individuals working to preserve and provide access to the world’s documentary heritage.

The Recommendation has yet to be applied in the ASEAN countries, which is why UNESCO, with the generous support of the government of Malaysia, is holding an international symposium and consultation to support these countries in their efforts to adapt and apply this new instrument to their specific contexts and challenges.

WHAT: ASEAN+3 Symposium and Consultation for the Implementation of the UNESCO Recommendation on Documentary Heritage.


WHERE: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

All sessions of the symposium will be streamed live on UNESCO Bangkok’s Facebook page.

WHO: The symposium and consultation are organised by UNESCO, in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia, and in cooperation with the ASEAN Secretariat and is made possible through support from the Government of Malaysia via the Malaysia Funds-in-Trust (MFIT) under the Malaysia-UNESCO Cooperation Programme (MUCP).

The event will bring together experts, policy-makers, and representatives from archives, museums, libraries from ASEAN, China, Japan, Korea and Timor-Leste, to develop an implementation action plan for the Recommendation tailored to the region.

For general enquiries and to RSVP for the Symposium contact Andrew Henderson, Communication and Information Unit, UNESCO Bangkok,

For media queries, please contact, UNESCO Bangkok Media and Communications Officer, Noel Boivin,

Social media:

Join us in promoting these aims by sharing the suggested posts below on your social media channels and/or by retweeting/sharing from our pages: @UNESCO_AsiaPac on Twitter and

Hashtag: #MoWASEAN

At the 38th Session of the UNESCO General Conference in Paris in 2015, 195 countries voted unanimously in favour of the introduction of a new UNESCO Recommendation on documentary heritage, including in digital form.

The Recommendation addresses both the technical and strategic issues that arise in the preservation and use of documentary heritage, providing practical, actionable recommendations that can be used by governments, memory institutes (archives, libraries, and museums), the private sector and individuals.

Given that the Recommendation is relatively new, and has yet to be applied in the region, UNESCO is supporting ASEAN+3 Members States and stakeholders in adapting this new instrument to the region’s contexts through this symposium and consultation, the development of the action plan and follow-up efforts going forward.

This will be the first global consultation on the implementation of this important Recommendation. The aim is to develop a UNESCO-ASEAN “action plan” for its implementation in the region in line with the recently signed MoU on cooperation between UNESCO-ASEAN.