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
Recognising that museums are central to cultural sustainability and the expression of identity
Cognisant that the museums have played and continue to play a unique role, both directly and indirectly, in promoting and/or addressing both global goals and issues at the local/community levels, while acknowledging that these initiatives have not always received the recognition and support that they deserve;
Conscious that Commonwealth museums are faced with the challenge to demonstrate their relevance and responsibility to their communities, by giving visibility to and adding value to that relevance through recognition of their place within Civil Society and adopting initiatives which directly address the needs of Civil Society;
Aware that Commonwealth museums can also demonstrate their relevance by being good citizens and encouraging good citizenship by example and dissemination of protocols and policies
The Commonwealth Association of Museums within the context of the Triennial Conference on Museums in the Commonwealth: Global Vision, Local Mission in Liverpool, United Kingdom, shall encourage the development of Better Museums for a Better Commonwealth.
The participants resolve that:
CAM will develop strategies which strengthen capacities and encourage partnerships between museums, and between museums and communities / constituencies and recognize the priorities established by the Commonwealth Foundation adopted in response to the U.N. Millennium Development Goals.
CAM will support these priorities by adopting and communicating the following principles:
- Promoting the recognition of self worth amongst all stakeholders, particularly women and youth
- Encouraging capacity building at all levels to effect change in the lives of the disenfranchised and disempowered
- Fostering the link between development and democracy and between culture and development
- Celebrating cultural diversity and encouraging dialogue amongst communities, including museum communities
- Recognising the continuing catastrophic and dehumanizing effects of slavery, violence and other crimes against humanity
- Promoting museums as a key strategy in protection of heritage
- Encouraging and accommodating mechanisms for conflict resolution within communities and families and internationally
CAM will promote awareness amongst museums, and encourage their participation in adopting policies recognising their role in addressing social and cultural issues such as:
- Youth disempowerment and the erosion of identity
- Loss of traditional/community memory through the dislocation and destruction of societies
- Preservation and protection of cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible
- Shift in museum practice from authoritative knowledge centres to knowledge sharing and facilitating participatory building and spreading of community knowledge
- Marginalization of women from leadership in heritage management
- Migration / remigration, Diaspora and cultural diversity
- Training, continuous professional development and sharing of museum skills
- Image and perception of museums in the community
- Recognition of the changing role of the museum to include issue-based programs (e.g. terrorism, HIV, environmental destruction, etc)
- Biodiversity and environmental sustainability
- Poverty alleviation
CAM will adopt actions and activities and build partnerships with interested parties in public and private sectors, nationally and internationally which:
- Support peace museum initiatives in the Commonwealth and encourage museums to promote the Culture of Peace and conflict resolution.
- Encourage the flow of peace-related exhibitions among Commonwealth countries.
- Work with relevant organisations in the protection of cultural heritage, including illicit trafficking and looting.
- Develop a strategy for assessing the status of women in museums of the Commonwealth with a view to encouraging greater participation and representation of women in museum activities at all levels.
- Encourage the adoption of strategies to address damage to, or destruction of, museums/heritage as a result of conflict and natural disaster
- Identify and utilize initiatives available in the Commonwealth to support Continuous professional Development and sharing of skills.
- Encourage initiatives which aim at the inclusion and involvement of marginalized groups in the reconstruction of both personal and collective memory and the preservation of cultural heritage
- Support museum initiatives commemorating the Slave Trade and struggles against slavery within the Commonwealth
- Encourage development of bipartisan relations as well as generalized networks amongst Commonwealth institutions and to the broader international community.
- Emphasize the centrality of intangible heritage issues and urge that professional bodies are fully consulted on cultural preservation issues.
- Encourage the development of community-led strategies to define and preserve heritage.
- Encourage good practice in the management of intangible heritage
- Explore and encourage practices and policies which recognize the value of cultural diversity and cultural equity and promote them in the community.
- Adopt initiatives which promote awareness and understanding of biodiversity and the environment and disseminate information on best practices for sustainability.
Preliminary outline completed in Liverpool, July 18, 2006.
Reviewed and adopted by Declaration Committee and forwarded to the CAM Executive Council.