Unisist newsletter Vol. 23 N°2 page

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UNISIST Newsletter Vol. 23 N°2 page



Twenty-second Bureau meeting of the Intergovernmental Council of PGI 3


Sixty-first IFLA General Conference, Istanbul, Turkey 4

Conference of Directors of National Libraries 5

International Conference on the Development of Information and Library Networks 7

Third Meeting of the International Expert Commission for the Modernization of the

Russian State Library 8

Memory of the World 11


Commemoration of the Centenary of French West Africa 12

Management of the State Security Archives of Former Repressive Regimes 13

Assistance to the National Archives of Benin 13

Inter-Regional Conference on Archival Development 13


UNESCO’s Participation Programme 15

General Information Programme - Particiption Programme 1994/95 16


First International Congress of CDS/ISIS 17


International Workshop on the Study of Information Infrastructures for Planning

Information Systems and Networks in Asia and the Pacific countries--------------------------------------------19

University of Colima, Mexico: Joint Venture with UNESCO 20

Support for the Information Infrastructure in Managua, Nicaragua 21


I I P 22


Index Translationum on CD-ROM 2nd Revised and Enlarged Edition (1995) 23

UNESCO databases on CD-ROM (Edition 1995) 23


FID Centennial Medallion 24

ILA-KAULA Best Librarian Award 1994 25

New Copyright Agreement for the British Library 25

British Council International Seminar 26

NCLIS Studies Internet Costs for Public Libraries 26

New Information and Reference Service in Ecuador 27

PADIS Symposium on Telematics 27



The Newsletter provides current information on the activities of the Division of the General Information Programme and information-related activities of other Sectors of UNESCO. Published three times a year in Arabic, English, French, Russian and Spanish, the Newsletter is distributed free of charge by the Division of the General Information Programme (PGI).

Editor: Wolfgang Löhner; Assistant Editor: Richard Holmquist

Readers are invited to communicate their comments, suggestions or relevant information by writing to: The Editor, PGI Newsletter, Division of the General Information Programme, 1, rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cédex 15, France.

Tel: (33-1) Fax: (33-1)




The twenty-second session of the Bureau of PGI's Intergovernmental Council, which met at Headquarters from 8 to 9 September 1995, was of particular importance in view of the 28th General Conference of the Organization which approves the Programme and Budget of UNESCO for 1996/97.

The Assistant Director-General for Communication, Information and Infor-matics presented the new structure of the programme in which the General Information Programme will play a central role. In particular, he stated that the convergence between communi-cation, information and informatics, which very much motivated the establishment of the CII sector, is now fully taken into account in the strategic approach of the Organization and in the Draft Programme and Budget for 1996/97. The "free flow" principle, originally applied only to the field of communication, is extended to all forms of information needed at the grass roots, professional and decision making levels for the advancement of education, science, culture, peace and democracy. In addition, the new CII programme fore- sees an integrated approach to capacity-building for development through these three inter-related disciplines.

It is obvious that new applications of information and communication tech-nologies create a technical, social and cultural environment in which UNESCO has a specific role to play according to its constitutional mandate. The Organiza-tion's mission in this context is three-fold:

  1. UNESCO must promote the application of information and com-munication technologies to facilitate innovation, creative expression, free flow and effective management within education, science, culture and the media.

  2. UNESCO must encourage inter-national co-operation to develop legal and ethical frameworks which take account of the social and cultural communication technologies; and

  3. UNESCO must work to assist the developing countries to benefit from new applications of information and communication technologies, and to ensure that these technologies do not create new types of exclusion between and within societies.

PGI already has an important mandate concerning the elaboration of guidelines and the promotion of standards in information handling; the development of national information policies; and the promotion of national and regional information systems. The role of PGI and its Intergovernmental Council must be enhanced to enable this key programme to focus on the challenge of the information technology revolution.

The 23rd Bureau meeting is scheduled to take place in the first half of June 1996 in Paris; the 11th meeting of the Intergovernmental Council for PGI is intended to be organized in November 1996.

For more information about the results of the Bureau meeting, please contact Mr Axel Plathe, CII/PGI, UNESCO, 1, rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cédex 15, France. Tel: (33-1) Fax: (33-1)



The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, IFLA, held its 61st General Conference in Istanbul, Turkey from 20 to 26 August 1995. It was attended by some 3000 participants from more than 100 countries. The main theme of the Conference was Libraries of the Future, and the sub-themes included: information technology and the restructuring of libraries; co-operative national and international information networks; the future of library materials; libraries and public education; and professional communication.

More than two hundred papers were presented during the conference in fifty-two open sessions, sixteen workshops, and sixteen panel discussions. The conference was opened by H.E. Mr Ismail Cem, Turkey’s Minister of Culture, after a brief welcome address by the Mayor of Istanbul. The Minister stressed the role of the library as “the sum of all thoughts shared by mankind, the place where they are safely kept, organized and passed on to future generations”.

In her introductory remarks, Mrs Altinay Sernikli, President of the National Library of Turkey and President of the Organizing Committee, expressed the wish that, just as Istanbul has served as a bridge between the West and the Orient, so will the IFLA conference. “Today we are in Europe, however, it is our hope that the Age of Information will flow right through this conference into Asia, and then will embrace the whole world.”

In his address “Beyond the limits of space and time”, Mr Robert Wedgeworth, President of IFLA, stressed the dramatic changes the library community is facing today. “The entire chain of relationships that have sustained twentieth century libra-ries and librarians from author to book-seller to user is being transformed by economics and technology. Maintain-ing the integrity of the original work and assuring a fair market for copy-righted works are frequent topics of discussion among authors and publish-ers. Librarians, on the other hand, try to use whatever legal means are the most effective in providing access to information.” He then described IFLANET, the electronic services of IFLA on Internet, and noted while there is little hope that one would be able to command the necessary resources to replicate comprehensive library collections throughout the developing world, there is a more realistic chance that Internet connections and resource-sharing programmes can extend library and information services to cover a much wider segment of the world population.

The PGI representative, Mr Abdelaziz Abid gave a presentation, elaborating on the conference theme Libraries of the Future.

The keynote address was delivered by Professor Halman, member of the Executive Board of UNESCO and former Minister of Culture of Turkey. His presentation - From Babylon to Libre-Space offered a bright vision of how the age of cyberspace is transforming libraries.


The Conference of Directors of National Libraries (CDNL), which met in the context of the sixty-first IFLA General Conference, had on its Agenda this year several items of particular interest to PGI, in particular “Memory of the World”, the National and University Library in Sarajevo and the Russian State Library.

The discussion on issues related to bibliographic control, access to electronic catalogues, legal deposit of electronic publishing, and national libraries and the information superhighway, showed that there is a pressing need for:

  1. An international register of repro-duction masters, including digitized materials;

  2. International guidelines for legal deposit of new media;

  3. A discussion group and paper on the impact of the information superhighway on the role of the national library, in particular, the dilemma between access and copyright protection.

When discussing these items, it was also noted that the gap between developed and developing countries is widening and that there is a pressing need for training and technical assistance to help national libraries in developing countries perform properly their role in the new information environment.

The Voucher Scheme for International Interlending is now operational. Some hundred libraries are using the scheme on both ends. It was noted that it will take time for the Voucher to be widely accepted.

Following a presentation on “Memory of the World” by Mr A. Abid of PGI, the Chairman of CDNL informed the meeting that there will be a conference next June on “Memory of the World” in Oslo. He stressed that this conference will cover not only the Nordic countries, but will have an international character, and invited members of CDNL to attend.

The Director-General of the Deutsche Bibliothek stressed the importance of the Memory of the World Programme, highlighting its two main objectives: to preserve and make accessible the world documentary heritage. He also underlined the need for close co-operation between PGI and the IFLA Core Programme for Preservation and Conservation.

The Director of the National and University Library in Sarajevo provided a brief report on the situation in Bosnia in general and on the Library in particular. His presentation was met with great sympathy and participants reiterated their readiness to co-operate.At the IFLA conference, three resolutions were adopted at the closing session. They were:

  1. A motion proposed by delegates from Nordic countries calling on all governments to ensure the right to freedom of expression and the free flow of information for their citizens and to protect them from violence, intimidation and threat of punish-ment in pursuit of these rights.

An Ad Hoc IFLA Committee on Access to Information and Freedom of Expression was appointed by the President to advise IFLA as to how it should implement its commitment to access to information and freedom of expression.

  1. A resolution proposed by the Russian Library appealing to the international library community to help the Chechnya Republic of Russia to rejuvenate its National Library.

  2. A resolution proposed by a group of participants that an International Library Day be celebrated annually world-wide and announced jointly by IFLA and UNESCO. The Executive Board of IFLA will take up this resolution for consideration with UNESCO.

For more information on the conference, please write to: IFLA Headquarters, P. O. Box 95312, 2509 CH The Hague, The Netherlands. Tel: +31-70-3140884. Fax: +31-70-3834827. E-mail: IFLA.HQ@IFLA.NL.






About forty information specialists and representatives of national and university libraries from seven Central and Eastern European countries, as well as experts from the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, attended the International Conference on the Development of Information and Library Networks in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe as part of the Global Exchange of Information, which was organized in May 1995 by the National Library of St Cyril and Methodus and the National Centre for Information and Documentation of Bulgaria.

The objectives of this conference included:

  1. A presentation of the state of the art of the development and compu-terization of information and library activities in the different countries;

  2. An outline of technological organi-zational problems in the develop-ment of information and library systems and networks;

  3. A definition and examination of the potential for co-operation between the countries of the region;

  4. A discussion on the common problems and the potential for their resolution with the assistance of international organizations.

The first session was dedicated to the state of computerization of library and information work. The influence of the transition to a market economy on the functioning of library and information services in Poland was discussed, as well as the current activities of NACID, Bulgaria; the National Library of Romania; and the National and University Library of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. All these institutions are working in computer applications and networking, data exchange and resource sharing, as well as international co-operation.

During the second session, a detailed review of PGI activities in the area of library and information networks was provided, as well as a brief presentation of the “Memory of the World” Programme. Two library networks and the impact of library networking services in the United Kingdom were examined as case studies. The Hungarian Technical Information Centre (OMIKK), and its activities and services using ALEF software package and their shared catalogue were discussed. CDS/ISIS was very much appreciated by the participants, in particular to support the activities of small libraries.

At the following session, PICA, a voluntary co-operative library system in the Netherlands, was discussed. It provides services such as shared cataloguing, union catalogues, inter-library lending, and document delivery. The library and information network of the Czech and Slovak Republics (CASLIN) was then described, and difficulties in using ALEF software and UNIX operating systems were examined.

NEKTAR, a software based on DOBIS-LIBIS, developed by the Hungarian National Library was presented. This system offers a gateway linking the mainframe of the National Library and the PC network. In addition, the telecommunications aspects of NACID were presented and the use of GEONET via Manchester Host for services like E-mail, bulletin boards, fax and telex transmissions, as well as access to remote databases, was explained.

Two workshops took place. The first was devoted to the impact of networking on library services, the staffing, training and re-training, client/server systems, as well as the effect of networking on traditional library and information services. The second workshop was dedicated to the general conclusions drawn from the sessions and the discussions of the conference and possible regional and international co-operation.

The Conference adopted four specific recommendations which include a proposal to hold a meeting in 1996 of CEE countries Directors of National Information Centres, national libraries and archives, convened under the auspices of UNESCO in Prague, Czech Republic to draw up a joint plan of action or “Transformation Project”; support by UNESCO for the further development and distribution of CDS/ISIS software; provision in 1995 of a list of databases available through the Internet or X.25; and finally a recommendation that high priority should be given to education and training in close co-operation with UNESCO in the areas of system and applications support, computer telecommunications, users training, management of libraries and information centres, and the use of Internet resources.

For more information about the Conference and other library activities, please contact Mr Abdelaziz Abid, CII/PGI, UNESCO, 1, rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cédex 15, France. Tel: (33-1) Fax: (33-1)



The third meeting of the International Expert Commission for the Modernization of the Russian State Library (RSL) took place in Moscow from 17 to 20 April 1995. The main objectives were to review the progress made by RSL in the implementation of recommendations made by the Commission at its meeting in London and to advise on the future plan of action.

This meeting was hosted by the Russian State Library. Among the members of the Commission who attended were those from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France - BNF (France), the British Library (United Kingdom), the Library of Congress (United States of America), the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (Germany), the Commission of the European Union - (DG XIII) and UNESCO (from Headquarters as well as the Moscow Office). The National Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO sent an observer. The meeting was chaired by Ms Nathalie Dusoulier, Honorary Vice-President of the INIST Group (France). The RSL Director, Mr I.S. Filipov and a team of three RSL staff members headed by the Programme Coordinator, Ms Tatiana Ershova, also attended the meeting.

In his opening remarks the Director of RSL stressed the acute nature of the problems the Library is facing, namely low salaries, inadequate legislations and the slow decision-making process in the government. He said that many changes, although perhaps not visible, (definition of library networks, statis-tics, public relations, marketing) were achieved as a consequence of the Commission’s advice.

The Chairwoman replied that the Commission’s mandate is to help the Library to move forward in its modernization programme, not to deal with daily work of the Library or national problems. In order to do it well, the Commission needs to know whether the proposals, which were submitted to the Library starting from July 1994, provide an acceptable basis for implementing changes; she emphasized that those plans give only guidance and can be altered with changing circumstances.

The RSL Coodinator of the Programme, Ms T. Ershova presented a review of the implementation of the recommendations made by the Commission at its second meeting in London in July 1994. Little progress was noted in the formulation of the mission and functions of the Library; there was also no decision taken regarding the re-design of the organizational chart of the Library. The Commission was, nevertheless, informed that several concrete activities took place since this last meeting. An independent audit was carried out on the Library’s budgeting and accounting procedures; it disclosed a series of mistakes and misconduct which led to the dismissal and replacement of the chief financial comptroller and to the change of the bank used by the RSL.

It was reported, however, that the foundation for changes in the RSL management and decision making process was strengthened because the Library acquired experience in defending its interests and priorities.

The development of staff and training has been limited to promoting measures which will help retain the staff in the Library, such as the installation of social aid payment systems, a personal increment system, and payments for complementary services. The opening of a Library School in RSL is also envisaged. A seminar on management for mid-level managers was conducted with the assistance of the Open Society Institute (Soros Foundation) in September 1994; and training was provided for eleven staff members on the basic techniques of economic partnership by the Moscow International School on Business in Industry and Science.

The development of collections and, in particular, the RSL “Rossica” collection were presented as pro-gressing well. The Commission’s assistance was requested to formulate a collection development policy. The Preservation and Conservation pro-gramme has been developed but is still awaiting official approval. The Bibliothèque Nationale de France has provided assistance to it. The programme “Memory of Russia” was also launched with the purchase of equipment and formulation of the workplan thanks to UNESCO financial aid.

Some progress has also been made for the improvement of RSL Technical Operations; it was decided to use the VTLS software in the RSL. The Com-mission of the European Union financed a feasibility study on RSL automation and three study tours for RSL specialists. A detailed technical assessment of the state of the RSL buildings was carried out by a French firm and concrete proposals were made for initiating their renovation in 1995. These are still awaiting a RSL decision.

A number of promotional activities have taken place in the RSL and its marketing centre has been reinforced under the responsibility of the newly appointed “Academic Secretary”. It was noted, however, that no final decisions on categories of users and nature of services have been made.

Regarding the modernization of the RSL, improvement of the library’s functions is needed: acquisition, elec-tronic cataloguing, circulation and conservation. A good journal should be published; in-service training provided; improvement of personnel qualifications pursued; and the number of departments reduced. However, these activities may be limited because of budgetary and legal constraints. A decision on the new policy of the Library and on the automation plan needs to be taken, as well as a definition of the mission of the RSL.

Concerning the Memory of Russia Programme, the Conference urged UNESCO to assist the RSL in accessing (through microfilming) the first slavonic cyrillic print books (XVth Century), many fragments of which are scattered among several libraries in the world, in order to reunify them, for preservation purposes on a compact carrier. The Bibliothèque Nationale de France offered to look into this matter.

The question of products and services was debated at length by the Commission. In this respect, the Library needs to know who its users should be, which services the users want and which services RSL wishes to provide and can deliver. On request from RSL, the creation of an Interlibrary Loan Centre was put on the Agenda. The Commission was in-formed about the intensive work carried out so far for the preparation of the workplan and on the results of the expert meeting on the subject.

Thus, the Commission observed that, although the RSL conditions for the introduction of automation and its maintenance are unsatisfactory, they are not desperate. The approach proposed is practical and structured. The Commission reiterated that the most important needs concern structure and strong management. There should be a strategy whereby automation is introduced only after the services and products are clearly defined.

For more information about the Russian State Library, please contact Mr Victor Montviloff, CII/PGI, UNESCO, 1, rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cédex 15, France. Tel: (33-1) Fax: (33-1)



The International Advisory Committee of the “Memory of the World” Programme held its second meeting at UNESCO Headquarters from 3 to 5 May 1995 to guide the planning and implementation of the Programme and consider the further development of its framework.

The International Advisory Com-mittee reviewed the main activities within the “Memory of the World” Programme since the first meeting in Pultusk, Poland in September 1993. It is clear that the Programme has generated great interest. Ten “Memory of the World” national committees have been created and five others are in the process of being established.

Two regional meetings have been held, the first one in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in December 1994 for the definition of an Asian component of the “Memory of the World” Programme and the second in Budapest, Hungary which was attended by participants from Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. The participants in the Budapest meeting stressed that while digitization is a powerful tool to facilitate access to documentary heri-tage, thus contributing to preservation of originals, digitization has its limits and can not substitute for conventional preservation work.

World lists being prepared under the Programme include a list of collections and holdings lost and destroyed in the XXth Century, a list of endangered documentary heritage, a list of current preservation activities and a list of approximately fifteen films each country considers to be representative of its most significant national cinematic heritage.

The Committee reviewed current pilot projects including a digitization programme in the National Library in Prague, a multimedia edition of Bulgarian medieval manuscripts evok-ing the figure of Saint Sophia, a demonstration disk of Yemenite manuscripts, a preservation project of astronomical manuscripts at the Kandilli Observatory in Istanbul, and “Memory of Russia”, a project for preserving and improving access to the collection of XVth and XVIth Century Slavic manuscripts held by the Russian State Library in Moscow.

The Committee stressed the urgent need for a strong campaign to raise awareness of the significance of documentary heritage and recom-mended that a “Memory of the World” Register be developed. This Register will list all documentary heritage which has been identified by the International Advisory Committee as meeting the selection criteria for world significance, similar to UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The “Memory of the World” Register will be a significant document in itself, as well as an inspiration to nations and regions to identify, list and preserve their documentary heritage. Listing will serve as a significant tool in raising awareness of governments, non-governmental organizations, founda-tions and the public at large, to the importance of their heritage and will serve as an incentive to obtain funds for its preservation.

Individual countries are encouraged to set up their own documentary heritage registers in parallel to the “Memory of the World” Register. National registers identify the docu-mentary inheritance of the nation. The national registers will increase aware-ness of the importance of the national documentary heritage and the need for a co-ordinated and integrated policy to ensure that endangered documentary heritage is preserved.

Groups of nations may compile regional registers to list documentary heritage which is integral to their collective memory. Each register - world, regional and national - must be based on clearly-defined criteria for assessing the cultural value of the documentary heritage. These criteria relate to influence, time, place, people, subject, form and style, and social value. Documentary heritage may need to meet only one criterion for inclusion in the World Register, but it is more likely to be assessed by reference to several criteria.

For more infrmation on the Memory of the World Programme, please contact Mr Abdelaziz Abid, CII/PGI, UNESCO, 1, rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cédex 15, France. Tel: (33-1) Fax: (33-1)



On the occasion of the centenary of French West Africa (Afrique occidentale française - AOF), the National Archives of Senegal organized in June 1995 an exhibition of documents related to the history of the French colonisation of the western parts of the African continent.

The contribution granted by PGI to the organizers of this exhibition under-lined the importance of the archives of the AOF reflecting the colonial history of a region which includes Member States which now are independent (Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo). The unique character of these archives lies in the fact that they are the only documents which were not transferred to France when these countries reached independence. Thus, the archives represent an important part of the documentary memory of Africa.



Within the framework of UNESCO's activities concerning accessibility and availability of archival holdings and UNESCO's involvement in furthering respect for human rights, PGI, in close co-operation with the International Council on Archives, is pursuing its support of the work of the International Expert Group on the Management of State Security Archives of Former Repressive Regimes. The final meeting of the expert group will be held before the end of the year with a view to preparing a manual of the management of these archives, to be published within the RAMP studies series.


Further to an official visit of UNESCO's Director-General to Benin, a contract was established with the National Archives of Benin in order to reinforce the conservation and preservation structures of these archives, particularly regarding reproduction and book-binding.


TUNIS, TUNISIA, 16 - 20 MAY 1995

The Inter-regional Conference on Archival Development was organized from 16 to 20 May 1995 in Tunis by the International Council on Archives (ICA), and hosted by the National Archives of Tunisia. The purpose of the Conference was to assess archival progress achieved over the past decade with a view to adapting international archival programmes to the changing needs of archives, mainly in developing countries, and identifying priorities and more efficient forms of actions and co-operation mechanisms in the archival field.

A very useful and well-prepared survey on archival development world-wide was discussed by the Conference. It showed an overall advancement of the development of records and archives management systems and services over the past decade both in developing countries and in developed countries. However, the rate of advance in developing countries, though often greater than that in Europe, has started from a much lower base and the level of provision still lags well behind. Areas of particular concern for developing countries are:

  1. out-of-date archival legislation or non-existence of archival legislation;

  2. absence or inadequacy of provision for archives below the federal or central governmental level;

  3. narrower remit of national archives in developing countries in comparison with those in developed countries with respect to the records of main state agencies and of current and semi-current records;

  4. wide divergence between archival education and training facilities in developing countries and those of developed countries;

  5. lower proportion of archival repositories in developing countries that have humidity and temperature control or microform storage accom-modations according to international standards;

  6. no transfers of non-current records to national archives;

  7. insufficiency of finding aids and, consequently, restricted access possibilities.

UNESCO’s important role in archival development world-wide was underlined by many representatives of participating countries, referring to concrete assistance projects carried out in co-operation with UNESCO. Evidence of the significant contri-butions of UNESCO to archival deve-lopment and its continuous presence in Member States was also shown by statistical data which ICA provided to participants, in connection with the International Survey of Archival Development:

  1. UNESCO sponsored 32% of the expert missions carried out since 1982 in the archival field (ICA: 14%; UNDP: 9%);

  2. UNESCO funded 28% of inter-national and bi-lateral projects implemented since 1982 (France: 11%; Private Foundations: 12%; UNDP: 5%).

The Conference underlined the importance of international co-operation and of exchange of infor-mation and experience in this endeavour, while recognizing major deficiencies still existing.

The International Conference on Archival Development called upon the responsible authorities in the member countries of the International Council on Archives to ensure that legislation is in place for the proper management of current and semi-current records and archives; to provide adequate facilities for the long-term preservation of archival materials; to establish and implement an appropriate preservation and conservation policy and the provision of adequate technical equipment; to establish declassification programmes; to ensure reasonable standards of service to users of archives; to collaborate regionally and inter-regionally in the provision of facilities for the training and education of records and archives staff; to ensure the early involvement of archivists in the establishment of government information systems and the management of electronic records; to recognize the advantage of computer systems in the execution of archival tasks; and to take appropriate steps to establish a network for the protection and use of archives at the local level.

The Conference also called upon the heads of national archives, in co-operation with the ICA, to draw the attention of ministers and senior officials to the fundamental importance of records and archives to sound administration and accountable govern-ment, and to make the public aware of the value of archives as a component of the cultural heritage of nations and the world.

For more information about these and other archives activities, please contact Mr Axel Plathe, CII/PGI, UNESCO, 1, rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cédex 15, France. Tel: (33-1) Fax: (33-1)


The Participation Programme is designed to enhance co-operation between UNESCO and its Member States or Associate Members by allowing the Organization to support activities which promote its ideals and objectives.

Requests for assistance may be submitted by Member States, Associate Members or territories, organizations or institutions, including intergovern-mental or non-governmental organiza-tions for activities of a national, regional, sub-regional or international character, in accordance with condi-tions governing the Participation Programme and must be clearly linked to the programmes approved by the General Conference for the biennium under consideration.

Assistance may take the form of services of specialists, fellowships and study grants, equipment, organization of conferences and meetings, seminars, training courses, or a financial contribution by UNESCO. Special attention is often given to activities promoting certain priority areas selected by the Organization. In the 1994/95 biennium, these were Literacy, the World Decade for Cultural Development, Priority Africa, Women and Least Developed Countries. In addition, funds were reserved for use in emergency situations within UNESCO's fields of competence and for the Fellowships Bank to meet urgent and growing needs for human resources development.

Approval of requests is determined by the order of priority set by the Member States which submits them to UNESCO through the official means of communication, usually the National Commission or the Permanent Delegation to UNESCO.

Within the General Information Programme, requests have been submitted in the fields of archives (audio-visual and textual records), information systems and libraries, as well as for assistance in the utilization of CDS/ISIS and IDAMS, the two software packages developed and distributed by the Division of the General Information Programme. This biennium also saw the first requests for assistance for developing projects in the area of the new Memory of the World Programme which has aroused tremendous interest.

For the coming biennium, the General Information Programme encourages information institutions to continue their policy of submitting requests for assistance under the Participation Programme. Below is a statistical look at the achievements of the 1994/95 biennium:


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