The International Advisory Committee (IAC)
The IAC is the peak body responsible for advising UNESCO on the planning and implementation of the Programme as a whole. It comprises 14 members serving in a personal capacity, appointed by the Director-General of UNESCO, and chosen for their authority in the field of the safeguarding of documentary heritage. The Director-General convenes the IAC in ordinary session every two years.
To organize its work, the IAC establishes and amends its own Rules of Procedure (these are also kept up to date on the website) and maintains appropriate subsidiary bodies or sub-committees. Functions of the current bodies are described below. It is customary for sub-committee chairs to attend meetings of the IAC in the role of ex officio members.
In particular, the IAC maintains an overview of the policy and strategy of the whole Memory of the World Programme. It therefore monitors the global progress of the Programme, considers reports from its sub-committees, from regional committees and the Secretariat, and in turn advises these bodies on their functions and responsibilities. As necessary, it revises and updates the General Guidelines of Memory of the World and it is responsible for approving additions to, or deletions from, the international Memory of the World Register. It builds the structures of the Programme with the intent of creating a sound framework for the future maturing of Memory of the World into the status of a UNESCO Recommendation and ultimately a UNESCO Convention.
The operation of each sub-committee and regional committee is reviewed at every ordinary session of the IAC, in order to ensure that structures are kept relevant to current needs.
IAC subsidiary bodies
The terms ofreference of the subsidiary bodies (at the date of printing) are set out below. These may be revised at the discretion of the IAC.
The Bureau comprises the chair, three vice-chairs and rapporteur as elected at every ordinary session of the IAC. Its main task is to maintain an overview of the Programme between IAC meetings and make tactical decisions in liaison with the Secretariat. It examines any pending issue referred by the IAC. It regularly reviews the use of the Memory of the World logo, which is one of the most important assets of the Programme and requires careful management. As needed, it liaises with national Memory of the World committees and monitors their growth and operation.
The Technical Sub-committee comprises a chair appointed by the IAC or Bureau and members chosen for their specialist expertise. Its principal task is to develop, regularly revise and promulgate information guides on the preservation of documentary heritage, and to offer advice on technical and preservation matters in response to specific enquiries from institutions or individuals. Similarly, it advises the IAC and the Bureau, as well as regional and national Memory of the World committees, on technical questions as required.
The Marketing Sub-committee comprises a chair appointed by the IAC or Bureau and members chosen for their specialist expertise. It develops strategies for awareness raising, and for increasing financial support for Memory of the World. It implements a marketing plan, and compiles and reviews guidelines for the use of the Memory of the World logo. Like the Technical Sub-committee, it also offers advice within its area of expertise.
The Register Sub-committee comprises a chair appointed by the IAC or Bureau and members chosen for their specialist expertise. In liaison with the Secretariat, it oversees the assessment of nominations for the Memory of the World Register and provides recommendations, with reasons, for their inscription or rejection to each meeting of the IAC. It interprets the selection criteria, and it liaises with NGOs and other bodies or individuals involved in the assessment of nominations. It provides advice, as requested, to regional and national Memory of the World committees in the management of their own registers.