Writings from Israel, Nepal and Myanmar included in UNESCO world register

Credit: UNESCO

19 June 2013 – Documentation on Holocaust victims, a collection of Buddhist scriptures written on stones from Myanmar, two rare manuscripts from Nepal and diaries belonging to Ernesto Che Guevara, are among 54 new additions to the UN educational and cultural agency’s Memory of the World Register.

“The items presented by Israel, Myanmar, Nepal are the first inscriptions on the register for these countries,” the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said in a news release on the newest additions to the prestigious list recognizing documentary heritage.

These items were selected by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) from among 84 petitions submitted for selection by 54 countries and the International Commission for the International Tracing Service (ITS).

They were chosen earlier today by the International Consultative Committee for the Memory of the World programme, now meeting in Gwangju, Republic of Korea, and approved UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.

The Memory of the World Programme, established in 1992, aims to counter the parlous state of preservation of, and access to, documentary heritage in various parts of the world, according to UNESCO’s website.

From Nepal, the inscriptions consist of Nisvasattatvasamhita, the earliest surviving tantric manuscript, and Susrutasamhita, the oldest document in the field of Ayurveda written on 1134 year old palm leaf manuscript.

“I congratulate Nepal for the inscriptions of the two manuscripts in the Memory of the World Register,” said Nepal’s UNESCO representative, Axel Plathe. “I am confident that their inclusion in the Register contributes to creating greater awareness of the need to preserve Nepal’s memory held in the country’s archives and libraries.”

Israel proposed the Pages of Testimony designed by Yad Vashem to commemorate some of the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust. The forms were filled out between 1954 and 2004 by the victims’ relatives and friends, many with photographs.

Myanmar authorities submitted and recommended for inclusion the Maha Lawkamarazein or Kuthodaw Inscription Shrines. The collection includes 729 stone slabs on which are inscribed the whole of the Buddhist scriptures whose religious and social significance is important for Asia. It records the Fifth Great Synod convened by King Mindon and which was the significant event of the Buddhist religion and its devotees.

Other notable works is the collection of life and work of Ernesto Che Guevara which includes his notes, diaries, speeches, medical research and other documents submitted by Bolivia and Cuba.

“It is the expression of an ongoing search begun in his youth, which leads him to follow his vocation as a revolutionary,” the proposal states.

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