Welcome to the United Nations. It's your world.

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage
27 October

"We must act today to ensure that future generations can enjoy humanity’s common
audiovisual heritage tomorrow. This heritage carries lessons, information and
knowledge that are essential to share. It is a foundation of identity and belonging as
well as a wellspring of innovation and creativity."

Irina Bokova
Director-General of UNESCO

shelves stacked with cans of movie film

United Nations audiovisual archives
UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

2014 Theme:
"Archives at Risk: Much more to do"

Audiovisual documents, such as films, radio and television programmes, are our common heritage and contain the primary records of the 20th and 21st centuries. They help to maintain the cultural identity of a people; but countless documentary treasures have disappeared since the invention of image and sound technologies that permit the peoples of the world to better share their experiences, creativity and knowledge.

All of the world's audiovisual heritage is endangered. Nowhere can it be said to be preserved, but through initiatives such as the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage and the Memory of the World Programme, the precious work of preservation professionals is given impetus to manage a range of technical, political, social, financial and other factors that threaten the safeguarding of our heritage.

It was in this context, that the General Conference in 2005 approved the commemoration of a World Day for Audiovisual Heritage as a mechanism to raise general awareness of the need for urgent measures to be taken and to acknowledge the importance of audiovisual documents as an integral part of national identity.

UN Web Services Section, Department of Public Information, © United Nations