Symposium to be held at UNESCO headquarters from 5-6 October 2009.
Paris, France, 30 September 2009 – After 57 years work, involving more than 1,800 historians and experts from around the world, UNESCO’s 51- volume collection of General and Regional Histories is on the point of completion. To mark the occasion, a symposium will be held at the Organization’s Headquarters from 5 to 6 October 2009 to reflect upon how this unique work can be developed and exploited to the benefit of school children and citizens the world over.
The event will be opened by the Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, on the 5 October (10 am to 1 pm). This session will include a discussion moderated by journalists Emmanuel Laurentin1 and Jacqueline Henard2 that brings together the presidents3 of the scientific committees responsible for this epic undertaking on the theme “Recalling the history behind the Histories”.
The six collections include: History of Humanity, General History of Africa, General History of the Caribbean, General History of Latin America, History of Civilizations of Central Asia, The Different Aspects of the Islamic Culture.
Instead of just tracing the past of nations, this collection aims to provide a greater understanding of civilizations, through a culturally relevant perspective on the evolution of societies, cultures and major currents of exchange and interaction between parts of the world. They provide the point of view of the populations concerned, whose past has often been distorted, discredited or treated as peripheral to the history of the colonizers and the dominant nations – those who usually write history.
1 Producer and presenter of La Fabrique de l’Histoire broadcast daily by France Culture
2 Sociologist and journalist for the Swiss German language newspaper Tages Anzeiger
3 History of Humanity: Prof. Georges Henri Dumont; General History of Africa: Prof. Elikia M’bokolo; History of the Civilizations of Central Asia: Prof. Chahryar Adle; General History of Latin America: Prof. German Carrera Damas; General History of the Caribbean: Sir Fitzroy Richard Augier Kt
The Different Aspects of the Islamic Culture: Prof. Idris el Hareir