C o m m o n w e a l t h
A s s o c i a t i o n o f
M u s e u m s
Conscious of the debilitating and devastating effects of conflict on peoples within the Commonwealth; Acknowledging that war, civil conflict and the absence of enabling conditions for sustaining peace are critical global issues;
Recognizing that museums must carry out their roles in civil society as important centres for cultural knowledge, understanding, and learning; as keepers and interpreters of cultural heritage; and as educators and active agents using and disseminating that knowledge and learning to interact with their societies and communities to address contemporary issues and problems;
Believing that museums can play a strong and unique role in promoting public awareness and understanding of the values, conditions and mechanisms that help sustain justice, equality, peace, democracy and good governance;
Understanding that peace, democracy, good governance are intertwined, interacting and interdependent issues; and,
Affirming that key factors, among others, are tolerance, cultural understanding and respect, and greater equalization of wealth and opportunity,
The Participants of the Commonwealth Association of Museums Triennial Conference on Museums, Peace, Democracy and Governance in the 21st Century in Bridgetown, Barbados, hereby make the following recommendations:
CAM endeavours to be a potent force within the international museum community concerned with peace and democracy, and an instrument in finding the best ways of integrating peace and democracy and related issues into our museums. In the process CAM will be an advocate for the promotion of peace, democracy and good governance through Commonwealth museums.
- Museums should promote awareness within the wider community as well as the professional museum community of the unique and positive role museums can play in the pursuit of sustainable peace and democracy
- Specific exhibitions, programmes and collaborative projects should be developed and shared which promote the ideals and values underpinning peace, democracy and good governance, their structures and the enabling conditions for sustainable peace and democracy
- Museums should work with related organizations concerned with peace, democracy, good governance, and their supporting conditions such as human and cultural rights,
- Museums should work within the framework of global peace and promote activities to celebrate the United Nations Year for the Culture of Peace in 2000
- Museums should seek to involve appropriate individuals, groups and organisations at all community levels in the development of programmes that promote peace and democracy
- Museums should re-affirm their ongoing commitment to critical global issues by including peace, democracy and good governance as important subjects for exhibitions and programmes
- Children should be a special audience for programmes to promote the culture of peace
- Museums should constantly monitor any threats to peace, democracy and institutions of governance and seek to ensure the protection of cultural and natural heritage and to assist colleague museums and staff in times of conflict
- Knowledge and skills necessary for museums and museums staff to address peace and democracy issues meaningfully should be identified and inserted into museum training programmes as appropriate
- ORGANISATIONAL FRAMEWORK
It is further recommended that the Commonwealth Association of Museums will work within the framework of the principles above and incorporate them into its organisational objectives and plans.
- ACTION PLAN
It is further recommended that the following strategic action plan will be carried forward to the Commonwealth Association of Museums' Executive Council for consideration and incorporation into general organisational plans, and for prioritizing, scheduling, timing and specific implementation plans for short and long terms.
- Awareness, understanding and action will be promoted: - by networking with related NGOs - by promoting professional debate at regional, national and international museum fora - by encouraging critical reviews of exhibits and activities for publications world-wide, focusing on issues relating to peace, democracy and good governance - by addressing the governments of the Commonwealth on issues of peace, democracy and good governance as they affect museums, using written and exhibit forms
- CAM will place a priority on a programme to celebrate the UN International Year for the Culture of Peace (2000) and encourage museums to involve themselves in that celebration
- CAM will explore the possibility of facilitating an international interpretive exhibition on peace and democracy issues for the year 2000, which will travel in the Commonwealth
- CAM will explore the possibility of facilitating several museum exhibits and programmes at the regional or national level on peace, democracy or good governance and sharing the results.
- The best means of disseminating information and gathering data on the level of awareness within the Commonwealth museums about peace, democracy and governance issues will be investigated including the extent to which museums institutional structures and programmes address these issues
- CAM will make specific information available through its Bulletin and by other means, e.g. publications, internet, regarding guidelines for good practice and examples of museum exhibits, programmes and projects relating to peace, democracy and good governance
- Museum training institutions and other appropriate museum professionals bodies will be encouraged to identify the knowledge and skills required from external sources and by museum staff to address peace and democracy issues in museum operations and programmes, and to include appropriate training opportunities within the Commonwealth museum community.
- CAM will work with related organisations to examine the best ways of monitoring locations of conflict and threat to cultural and natural heritage, of assisting in the protection of heritage in danger, and of assisting museums and museum staff in times of conflict and disaster.
- Working with other related organisations and institutions, CAM will propose a Museum Summit, within the years 2000-2002, in the Commonwealth to develop a new collective vision and a new mission, and to evolve practical strategies, and to take positive action to meet the challenges of peace, democracy and good governance and its distinct issues in the Millennium.
In pursuit of this vision and objectives, we call on all Commonwealth museums, other colleagues and partners, national and international organisations to join CAM in implementing these principles through action and;
We therefore invite the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, the Director General of UNESCO and other humanitarian and development organisations to assist and work with the Commonwealth Association of Museums in the realization of these goals.
Developed at the CAM Triennial Conference: Museums and Peace, Democracy and Governance in the 21st Century and declared May 12, 1999
Emmanuel N. Arinze
Signed for the participants:
Emma Mae Dawson
David and Dorothy Devenish
Kim Outten Stubbs
Rodney J. Reynolds
Reginald and Betty Varney