Michèle Stanton-Jean, the Québec Government Representative within the Permanent Delegation of Canada to UNESCO, participated in a major conference of experts in the field of digital documentary heritage in Vancouver in September. The purpose of this event, which was jointly organized by UNESCO and the University of British Columbia and which received funding from the Government of Québec, was to explore the main challenges facing this sector.
Entitled “The Memory of the World in the Digital Age: Digitization and Preservation,” the activity marked the 20th anniversary of the creation of UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme. It brought together over 500 experts from 110 countries. Jānis Kārkliņš, the Assistant UNESCO Director-General for Communication and Information, was also present.
Marked interest for BAnQ
Two representatives of the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) also presented, in French, the work of BAnQ with the Réseau francophone numérique. Their presentation aroused considerable interest among participants and the media alike. In light of the evident enthusiasm, major collaborations with UNESCO may see the day.
The importance of protecting digital property
This meeting led to the development of strategies to better protect digital property as well as an implementation methodology suitable for developing countries. Workshops dealt with technical, legal, ethical and financial issues and took stock of activities underway in various regions around the world.
The funding from the Government of Québec made it possible—in this predominantly English-speaking universe—to provide simultaneous interpretation during the plenary sessions and a number of workshops.
The UNESCO Memory of the World Programme was launched to safeguard the documentary heritage of humanity and to help the networks of experts to exchange information and raise resources for the preservation and dissemination of documentary material.
Representation at UNESCO
The Québec-Canada Agreement on UNESCO, which was signed on May 5, 2006, by the governments of Québec and Canada, contains achievements and precedents that make it one of the most decisive acts in the history of Québec’s international relations.
The Government of Québec, through its permanent representative Michèle Stanton-Jean, continues to pursue the following objectives: