Melbourne 1998

19th General Assembly of ICOM
Melbourne, Australia, 16th October 1998

Resolution No. 1: Museums and Cultural Diversity

Recognising the continuing significance of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948),

Noting the increasing commitment to multicultural concerns by museums and other institutions managing heritage resources across the world,

Recalling the various resolutions of ICOM General Assemblies concerning culture and community development,

Concerned about the continuing tensions in different parts of the world derived from inadequate cultural understanding,

The 19th General Assembly of ICOM, held in Melbourne, Australia, on 16th October 1998,

Declares its commitment to:

a. the promotion of cultural rights of all peoples through a reaffirmation of the values embedded in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights on the occasion of its 50th Anniversary,

b. support the United Nations Draft Declaration on the Rights of the World's Indigenous Peoples,

c. the development of museums as sites for the promotion of heritage values of significance to all peoples through cross-cultural dialogue,

d. sharing concerns, achievements and projects dealing with cultural diversity concerns, peace and harmony in regional, inter-regional and international committee meetings,

e. promoting access of cultural communities to information and collections relevant to their cultural heritage.



Resolution No. 2: Museums and Heritage Tourism

Recalling Resolution No. 2 on Museums and International Tourism adopted by the 12th General Assembly of ICOM, in Moscow, Russia (former USSR), in 1977,

Considering the rapid growth of tourism as the world's largest industry,

Conscious that tourism development offers opportunities for the conservation and promotion of heritage resources,

Concerned about the impacts of tourism growth on both tangible and intangible heritage resources,

Acknowledging the United Nations Draft Declaration on the Rights of the World's Indigenous Peoples and the United Nations Draft Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities,

The 19th General Assembly of ICOM, held in Melbourne, Australia, on 16th October 1998,

Urges ICOM:

a. to continue the dialogue on the development of a policy position on the sustainable and holistic approach to heritage tourism,

b. to collaborate with UNESCO, UNDP, ICCROM, ICOMOS and other agencies for establishing standards for heritage conservation within the context of tourism development, and for ensuring host community benefits.



Resolution No. 3: Regional Museum Development

Noting the final report of the World Commission on Culture and Development entitled Our Creative Diversity,

Considering the outcomes of the Intergovernmental Conference on Cultural Policies for Development in Stockholm, Sweden, in March-April 1998, and the Conference on Understanding Culture in Sustainable Development: Investing in Cultural and Natural Endowments of the World Bank held in Washington, DC, USA, in September 1998,

Recognising the universal understanding of the role of culture in development, based on ICOM experiences of the recent cultural exchange between Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the constitution of the Pacific Island Museums Association,

The 19th General Assembly of ICOM, held in Melbourne, Australia, on 16th October 1998,

Urges ICOM to facilitate the development of regional groups and organisations in areas demonstrating identified need for museums and cultural centre development, through:

a. convening of workshops and meetings with the assistance of the International Committees and Regional Organisations of ICOM,

b. encouraging International Committees to hold their annual meetings in regions where they have not met before,

c. assistance from UNESCO, the World Bank, UNDP, and other agencies for pilot projects on museums and community cultural development.



Resolution No. 4: Consolidation of the Movement Against Illicit Traffic in Cultural Property


Recalling Resolution No. 4 on Illicit Trafficking in Cultural Property adopted by the 14th General Assembly of ICOM, in London, United Kingdom, in 1983,

Recalling CIDOC Recommendation on Object ID approved by ICOM Executive Council in June 1997,

Considering the serious loss of heritage resources experienced worldwide due to illicit traffic,

Noting that only a minority of States have signed and ratified the UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects (1995), and that the national laws concerning the protection of heritage need to be improved,

The 19th General Assembly of ICOM, held in Melbourne, Australia, on 16th October 1998,

Calls on museums everywhere to:

a. lobby at the national level for the adoption and implementation of the UNIDROIT Convention, and

b. to improve the national laws for the protection of heritage resources.



Resolution No. 5.: Protection of the Cultural Heritage During and After Armed Conflict


Recalling Resolution No. 2 adopted by the 18th General Assembly of ICOM, in Stavanger, Norway, in 1995,

Conscious that a Diplomatic Conference will be held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in March 1999 to prepare the final text on the Second Protocol to The Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (1954),

Aware that the draft text being considered would improve the protection of cultural heritage and recognise and facilitate the work of the International Committee of the Blue Shield,

The 19th General Assembly of ICOM, held in Melbourne, Australia, on 16th October 1998,

Urges all members of the museum community to:

a. actively participate in the formulation of national policies with respect to the preparation of the Second Protocol and to encourage participation of their Member States in these deliberations,

b. co-operate with the national teams of the UNESCO Project Heritage, Museums and Museology for social, cultural and environmental transition, assisting the professionalisation of museums in emerging democracies.



Resolution No. 6: Towards a Convention for the Protection of Movable Cultural Property of Universal Interest

Taking into consideration Resolution No. 1 adopted by the 13th General Assembly of ICOM, in Mexico City, Mexico, 1980, on Museums and the World Heritage, Resolution No. 2 adopted by the 15th General Assembly of ICOM, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1986, on The Future of Our Cultural Heritage: Emergency Call, Resolution No. 2 adopted by the 18th General Assembly of ICOM, in Stavanger, Norway, on Protection of the Cultural Heritage during Armed Conflict,

Considering the recommendation of workshops organised by ICOM and UNESCO regarding the protection of cultural heritage and especially those from the Bamako workshop held in Mali, in October 1994, regarding illicit traffic in cultural property,

Conscious of the importance of the work undertaken for the past seven years by the ad hoc ICOM Committee on Movable Property, and following the presentation at the Executive Council and the Advisory Committee in December 1997,

The 19th General Assembly of ICOM, held in Melbourne, Australia, on 16th October 1998,

Invites ICOM to integrate in its activities the implementation of this objective as inscribed in the triennial programme, and

Strongly recommends UNESCO to consider as a priority in its programme a feasibility study for the preparation of The Convention for the Protection of Movable Cultural of Universal Interest.

Solicits the participation of various government and non-government, national and international organisations, including the Council of Europe and the World Bank for the development of a programme for the protection and promotion of cultural property.