The forum, which was held at UNESCO headquarters and online, acknowledged that disasters, whether natural or man-made, have been a major cause of the destruction of documentary heritage, including ancient manuscripts, government records, audiovisual materials and digital documents, which all contain the collective history of the world and shape human civilization.

A key aspect of the deliberations was how disaster risk reduction could be applied to the sustainable preservation of documentary heritage, especially in view of disasters such as climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, earthquakes, floods, and many others.

In his opening remarks, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, Tawfik Jelassi, underlined UNESCO’s commitment to ensuring the preservation of and access to the world’s documentary heritage through policy advocacy and capacity building based on a disaster risk reduction framework.

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