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Sunday, 29 June 2008 00:00

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ARCHAEOLOGICAL PEACE PARK

The World Archaeological Congress endorses the international effort to create the first Archaeological Peace Park at El Pilar Belize/ Guatemala.

A motion in support of this initiative was passed unanimously at the Plenary session of the Sixth World Archaeological Congress, held in Dublin, Ireland.

“This is an important initiative which will support regional efforts to conserve the culture and nature of the Maya forest,” Professor Claire Smith, President of the World Archaeological Congress, said today.

“This Archaeological Peace Park will promote the visibility of shared archaeological resources worldwide. It is a model for protecting shared cultural heritage in other regions of the world.”

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CULTURAL HERITAGE THREATENED BY GLOBALISATION

The World Archaeological Congress calls on those responsible for rural development policies and programmes to integrate cultural heritage concerns into their decision-making processes.

It also calls on policy makers to ensure that the values and concerns of first nation and Indigenous communities are fully taken into account in planning processes.

This resolution was passed unanimously at the Plenary session of the Sixth World Archaeological Congress, held in Dublin, Ireland.

“The changes induced by globalization in agricultural and forest land-use management practices is depleting this resource,” Professor Claire Smith, President of the World Archaeological Congress, said today.

“In many parts of the world this heritage is under threat. We have to act now if we are to protect important cultural heritage globally. There is an urgent need for evidence-based research into the impact of these kinds of developments.”

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CALL FOR JOINT MANAGEMENT OF WILLANDRA LAKES WORLD HERITAGE AREA, AUSTRALIA

The World Archaeological Congress calls on all relevant agencies and stakeholders to affirm and ensure meaningful joint management of the Willandra Lakes World Heritage Area in Australia with traditional Tribal Groups of the region.

This resolution was passed unanimously at the Plenary session of the Sixth World Archaeological Congress, held in Dublin, Ireland, over the last week.

“The World Archaeological Congress is committed to Indigenous control over Indigenous cultural heritage,” said Professor Claire Smith, President. “We support the development of the Willandra Lakes Keeping Place and Education and Research Centre in accordance with Traditional Owner direction and management”.

"Supporting the rights and responsibilities of Indigenous communities was fundamental to the establishment of the World Archaeological Congress,” said Dorothy Lippert, the Indigenous representative on the WAC Executive. “We have developed a number of Codes of Ethics in relation to this.”

The World Archaeological Congress acknowledges and recognises Indigenous methodologies for interpreting, curating, managing and protecting Indigenous cultural heritage.

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CALL FOR INDIGENOUS CO-MANAGEMENT OF QUILMES RUINS, ARGENTINA

The World Archaeological Congress supports the Indigenous community of Quilmes regarding the protection and management of the sacred site known as Quilmes’ Ruins.

“The Indigenous people of Quilmes have a right to be involved in the management of their cultural heritage,” said Professor Claire Smith, President of the World Archaeological Congress. “The World Archaeological Congress acknowledges and recognises Indigenous methodologies for interpreting, curating, managing and protecting Indigenous cultural heritage.”

“We need to respect the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

A group of Indigenous people from around the world attended the Sixth World Archaeological Congress, held in Dublin, Ireland, over the last week.

This resolution was passed unanimously at the Plenary session of this Congress.

The World Archaeological Congress acknowledges and recognises Indigenous methodologies for interpreting, curating, managing and protecting Indigenous cultural heritage.

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UNDERWATER CULTURAL HERITAGE CONVENTION NEEDS TO BE IMPLEMENTED

The World Archaeological Congress expresses its appreciation for, and recognition of, the first 17 nations to ratify the UNESCO convention on the protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage (2001) and its Annex.

“We would like to encourage the small number of nations that abstained from voting or voted against the UNESCO Convention to reconsider their position,” said Professor Claire Smith, President of the World Archaeological Congress. “However, it is satisfying that there is worldwide support as all nations unanimously supported the Convention Annex, which sets out the “rules for activities directed at underwater cultural heritage.”

“If we are going to protect our global heritage it is essential that all nations respect the spirit of the Convention, abide by the rules of the Annex to the Convention and establish administrative and funding mechanisms to allow the effective implementation of the Convention as soon as possible.”

“We encourage the Director-General of UNESCO to give urgent consideration to the funding and implementation of administrative arrangements for the processing of information and the institution of consultative processed specified in the UNESCO Convention.”

The World Archaeological Congress urges countries to allocate resources and legislative mechanisms that are appropriate and adequate to meet heritage management needs: to mitigate for natural and human impacts on underwater cultural heritage and to develop and promote structures and capacity to enable sustainable use and common stewardship of that heritage.

“The World Archaeological Congress congratulates Mexico on the preservation and promotion of their underwater cultural heritage,” said Professor Smith. “Mexico is leading developments in Latin American underwater archaeology.”

The World Archaeological Congress encourages all nations to recognize the importance of all maritime and underwater archaeological sites in their waters regardless of original cultural affiliation, country of origin, or history.

The World Archaeological Congress encourages a collaborative approach by all stakeholders to the research, management, protection, and creation of deeper understanding of shipwreck archaeology.

“Sea levels have changed regularly throughout human history and there are many sites that are now below current sea levels,” said Professor Smith. “It is important that we promote research and proactive management of these submerged cultural landscapes.”

The World Archaeological Congress recognizes the immediate vulnerability of all coastal cultural resources to rising sea levels and climate change, and recommends that an appropriate response be multidisciplinary and involve collaborative action with local communities.

Th resolution under lying this press release was proposed by participants in the Maritime and Underwater Archaeology Theme at the Sixth World Archaeological Congress, held in Dublin, Ireland, 29th June—4th July, followed by meetings of the World Archaeological Congress Council and Executive.

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MORE EQUITY NEEDED IN INTERNATIONAL FIELD SCHOOLS

The World Archaeological Congress calls for international archaeological field schools to aspire to an equal collaboration and fair resource distribution between visiting project teams and students, and local organizations.

“Most international archaeological field schools originate in wealthier countries but are held in financially disadvantaged countries,” said Professor Claire Smith, President of the World Archaeological Congress.

“In some parts of the world these field schools are the only access that communities have to archaeological knowledge and methodological techniques. While they provide valuable services they also need to be built on a more equal approach to resource distribution.”

The Student Committee of the World Archaeological Congress stated: “We should be aspiring to an equal collaboration and fair resource distribution between the visiting project teams and students, and local organizations.”

The World Archaeological Congress is committed to increasing the intellectual richness of archaeology through redressing global inequities.

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TARA’S WORLD HERITAGE SIGNIFICANCE

Following the largest ever international gathering of archaeologists in Dublin, Ireland, the World Archaeological Congress has released a statement expressing its opposition to any further development alongside the new stretch of motorway in the wider landscape zone surrounding the historical site of Tara in Co Meath, Ireland.

“Tara has significance far beyond Ireland itself,” said Professor Claire Smith, President of the World Archaeological Congress. “Its iconic significance derives from its unique cultural character, as situated in a broader landscape. The World Archaeological Congress strongly encourages the Irish Government to instigate formal protection measures for this area, and to consider nominating Tara for inscription as a World Heritage site.”

“Prior to the holding of the Sixth World Archaeological Congress here in Ireland, we sent two senior representatives to look at the issue of the motorway, “ said Professor Claire Smith. “They found that all the archaeological work had been done to the highest professional standards.”

The hosting of the Congress at University College Dublin facilitated the holding of a Tara stakeholders’ panel. During this forum a number of competing and often contradictory claims were made and the World Archaeological Congress has now commissioned a report on the Tara discussions.

The World Archaeological Congress stressed that its report would not interfere with the legal and consultative planning process already completed in Ireland. “We do not question the validity of the planning process undertaken in Ireland. Our purpose is to learn lessons for the future and for other countries with issues surrounding development archaeology,” said Professor Smith.

“There are many strong opinions about Tara and it is important that valid claims receive due attention, and that misinformation be sifted out. This can only be done through a considered study,” Professor Smith said.

Recognising that the reburial of ancient remains in Ireland is subject to the provisions of the National Monuments Act and the agreement of the National Museum of Ireland, the World Archaeological Congress also draws attention to the Vermillion Accord on human remains and suggests that any human remains excavated from the cultural landscape of Tara should be re-interred with due respect as close as possible to their original locations, as this is where these people would have wished to be buried.

The World Archaeological Congress notes the significant adverse impact that motorways and other forms of development can have on valuable cultural landscapes. It will consider explicit inclusion of these concerns in its Codes of Ethics.

“Throughout the world, developments such as motorways can have significant adverse impact on cultural landscapes,” said Professor Smith. “Cultural heritage needs to be factored into the planning process from the beginning.”

“In order to address these issues from a global perspective the World Archaeological Congress will be holding an Inter-Congress with the theme “Rethinking relations of Archaeology and Development.”

The Inter-Congress on archaeology and development is likely to be held in Lund, Sweden, in 2009.

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KEY JAPANESE MUSEUMS UNDER THREAT

The World Archaeological Congress expressed dismay on hearing that the Osaka prefectural museums are likely to be closed or subject to severe budget slashes. “Japan has some of the best cultural heritage protection measures in the world, and some of the most outstanding museums,” said Professor Claire Smith, President of the World Archaeological Congress.

“The Osaka prefectural museums are among the most internationally oriented of Japan’s museums and are directly involved with the presentation and interpretation of a number of archaeological sites expected to be inscribed on the World Heritage list of UNESCO,” said Professor Smith.

“They are treasures for the Japanese people, and for the world at large. They promote international understanding.”

“The Osaka prefectural government should be working closely with archaeologists to develop creative cultural heritage management policies that can enhance this region economically and socially, and attract additional tourism income.”

The World Archaeological Congress supports the continued funding of the Osaka prefectural museums as important cultural heritage management institutions that provide unique content, are internationally recognized and whose value goes beyond short-term budget considerations.

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ONE OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST OUTDOOR ROCK ENGRAVING SITES UNDER THREAT

The World Archaeological Congress calls on the Australian Government and Western Australian Government to protect rock art and standing stones threatened by industrial and other development within the Dampier Archipelago and wider Pilbara region of Western Australia.

“The Burrup Peninsula is one of the largest complexes of rock art engravings in the world,” said Professor Claire Smith, President of the World Archaeological Congress. “These engravings need to be protected, not only for Australians but for the world at large.”

“This complex of sites is of global significance. I find it astonishing that the Western Australian and Federal governments are not acting to protect this important body of rock art.”

Woodside Petroleum and the Western Australian Government are planning to turn part of this site into a natural gas production facility against the recommendations of the archaeological community and contravening the desires of some of the site`s Aboriginal custodians.

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ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN WORKING GROUP ON ARCHAEOLOGY

The World Archaeological Congress endorses the agreement on archaeological heritage reached by the Israeli-Palestinian Working Group on Archaeology.

“This agreement is a model for other areas of conflict, as it recognizes the responsibility of each state to protect archaeological heritage regardless of its period and ethnic, religious or cultural affiliation,” said Professor Claire Smith, President of the World Archaeological Congress.

“The importance of the region’s archaeological heritage extends far beyond the borders of the two separate areas,” said Professor Smith.

The agreement is based on the assumption of the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. It calls for the repatriation of archaeological objects excavated after June 4 1967 to the state in which their archaeological context is located, along with all the records pertaining to those sites and objects.

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GETTY APPLAUDED FOR BACKING PHILADELPHIA RESOLUTION

The World Archaeological Congress salutes the Getty Museum’s recent adoption of the Philadelphia Resolution that collectors and museums should not acquire or accept antiquities without documentary proof that they were known and published or documented prior to UNESCO’s 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property was adopted.

“The Philadelphia Resolution protects museums and other institutions from inadvertently buying looted artefacts,” said Professor Smith, President of the World Archaeological Congress.

“The World Archaeological Congress invites the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and other major institutions, both within the United States and outside it, to follow the lead of the Getty in this important matter,” said Professor Smith.

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CULTURAL HERITAGE IN IRAN UNDER THREAT

The World Archaeological Congress expresses its strong opposition to aggressive military action (including air strikes) against Iran by the US government, or by any other government.

“Such action could have catastrophic consequences for millions of people and will seriously endanger the cultural heritage of Iran and of the Middle East in general,” said Professor Claire Smith, President of the World Archaeological Congress.

“The Iraq war was a disaster for cultural heritage in this region. The world can not afford to replicate mistakes such as this.”

“The World Archaeological Congress strongly opposed the war in Iraq, and we strongly oppose any war in Iran,” said Professor Smith.

“War destroys both lives and cultural heritage. Any differences with Iran (as with any other country) should be resolved through peaceful and diplomatic means.”

“There was a lot of debate around the issue of whether archaeologists should provide advise and expertise to the military on archaeological and cultural heritage matters,” said Professor Smith.

“There is a strong view by some members that a refusal by archaeologists and others to work with the military would send a message that war with Iran is hugely unpopular amongst cultural heritage professionals,” said Professor Smith. “The view here is that providing advise and expertise to the military during the war planning against Iran would offer cultural credibility and respectability to the military action.”

“Other members take the opposite stance, that it is their responsibility as cultural heritage specialists to attempt to mitigate the damage done to cultural heritage wherever there is conflict as this cultural heritage could be an essential building block in the peace process,” said Professor Smith.

A resolution suggesting that no archaeologists or cultural heritage specialists assist the military in planning to protect the cultural heritage was passed by the Plenary session of the WAC-6 Congress for consideration by the World Archaeological Congress Assembly, Council and Executive but was not approved as a formal statement of the position of the organisation as a whole.

“This debate highlights how strongly people feel about any impeding military engagement with Iran,” said Professor Smith.

Since 2003 the World Archaeological Congress has had a Task Force on Archaeologists and War with an explicit remit to investigate the ethics implications of working with the military.

In order to address these issues from a global perspective the World Archaeological Congress will be holding an Inter-Congress with the theme “Archaeologists, Ethics and Armed Conflict.” This is likely to be held in the Hague in 2010.

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EXPULSION OF INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES DEPLORED

The World Archaeological Congress expresses its concern over the situation of Lagunita Salada, Gorro Frigio and Cerro Bayo (Chubut Province, Argentinean Patagonia) where Mapuche-Tehuelche communities are being expelled from their territories on the basis of a contested archaeological report which states that these people are "foreign" to these lands.

"The expulsion of these peoples contravenes international human rights laws and standards," said Professor Claire Smith, President of the World Archaeological Congress. "This undermines Indigenous cultural integrity, and directly contradicts articles of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in respect to issues of free, prior informed consent, collective property rights and other rights of indigenous peoples (including cultural integrity)."

The World Archaeological Congress will be expressing its concern to the Argentinean Supreme court that has the final decision in its hand, following successive negative rulings in previous court instances of the Chubut province.

"Archaeology should be used to support the interests of Indigenous peoples in all situations, but especially when they are in contest with powerful groups such as transnational extractive companies, large landowners or tourist projects," said Professor Smith.

The World Archaeological Congress deplores the use of archaeology as a handmaiden to territorial dispossession processes.

"The situation with the Atacameno, Coya and Aymara communities of the Andes is an example of how archaeological work can be used to justify destruction of the tangible and intangible heritage of Indigenous peoples," said Professor Smith.

“This is not acceptable. All nations have a responsibility to abide by the provisions of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

The press release is based on resolutions from the "Indigenous peoples" workshop on territories and cultural heritage: meeting and shared experiences" that was held at the Sixth World Archaeological Congress, in Dublin, Ireland, 29th June—4th July, followed by meetings of the WAC Council and Executive.

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DIGITAL DIVIDE NEEDS BRIDGING

The World Archaeological Congress stresses the need for institutions and individuals to provide free or at cost access to their digital and technical resources and skills in order to foster development of transformative global access and capacities.

The World Archaeological Congress supports the development of training programmes to build capacity where needed and requested and to communicate digital methods in heritage at all levels.

“The digital divide between countries is widening,” said Professor Claire Smith, President of the World Archaeological Congress. “Equal access to digital technology is an essential part of a more equitable world.”

The World Archaeological Congress supports the wider involvement of global communities through the development and sharing of digital approaches.

The World Archaeological Congress is establishing a working group to work in this area.

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WORLD ARCHAEOLOGY DAY

The World Archaeological Congress calls upon UNESCO to declare a World Archaeology Day.

“The idea of a World Archaeology Day was proposed by colleagues from Africa, an area of the world where cultural heritage is under dire threat from looting, tourism and government neglect,” said Professor Smith, President of the World Archaeological Congress.

“A World Archaeology Day would follow on from previous UNESCO declarations of an International Museum Day and a World Tourism Day.”

“A day that is devoted to appreciation of the worth of archaeology will enhance public understanding of the value of archaeology as a tool for unearthing our human past, and this will lead to greater protection of cultural heritage across the globe,” said Professor Bayo Folorunso, of Nigeria, the Vice-President of the World Archaeological Congress.

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POLITICAL VIOLENCE THREATENS ZIMBABWE’S UNIQUE CULTURAL HERITAGE

The 6th World Archaeological Congress held in Dublin, Ireland from 29 June to 4 July 2008 noted with great concern the current political situation in Zimbabwe.

The World Archaeological Congress condemns the current politically-motivated violence in Zimbabwe. This violence has impacted negatively on the lives of Zimbabwean people and on their productive capacity.

“Violence affects everyone. It is an obstacle to development and progress, and it is causing the accelerated destruction of Zimbabwe’s cultural heritage,” said Professor Claire Smith, President of the World Archaeological Congress.

“The Congress is of the view that this heritage can only be meaningful to the present generation if used and shared in an atmosphere of peace, economic progress, and good governance,” said Professor Bayo Folorunso, of Nigeria, Vice-President of the World Archaeological Congress.

“Zimbabwe’s precious cultural heritage needs to be protected in these times of disruption and danger,” said Professor Smith. “Land is the Zimbabwean people’s most valuable resource and is essential to their sense of belonging and identity.”

The World Archaeological Congress urges a speedy solution to the current political, social, economic and humanitarian crises in the country to meet the aspiration of the Zimbabwean people.

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AFRICAN ARCHAEOLOGISTS CALL FOR DATING ASSISTANCE

The 6th World Archaeological Congress held in Dublin, Ireland from 29 June to 4 July 2008 will respond to African archaeologists’ call for assistance in obtaining dates for samples to properly delineate the chronological framework of archaeological sites.

“The economic divide between people in different parts of the world impacts upon the ability of archaeologists in Africa to access basic needs, such as dating samples,” said Professor Bayo Folorunso, of Nigeria, Vice-President of the World Archaeological Congress.

“The World Archaeological Congress is committed to scholars from different parts of the world assisting each other,” said Professor Smith, President of the World Archaeological Congress. “Archaeologists from Africa need assistance with obtaining funding to date archaeological samples, and we will assist them. Their work is essential to a nuanced understanding of both regional and global archaeology.”

“However, it is important to remember that these are professional archaeologists who contribute to global archaeology. The World Archaeological Congress is based on reciprocal relationships between equals in order to enhance the intellectual richness of archaeology, not charitable acts from one part of the world to another.”

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SCIENTISTS SUPPORT INDIGENOUS RIGHTS TO CULTURAL HERITAGE

The World Archaeological Congress notes its strong support for the rights of Indigenous peoples with regard to Indigenous cultural heritage. In accordance with its Code of Ethics, the Vermillion Accord, and the Tamaki-Makau-rau Accord, WAC actively supports Indigenous communities in their efforts to make and negotiate repatriation claims.

The World Archaeological Congress affirms the important role that repatriation plays for Indigenous communities in carrying out their cultural responsibilities.

Dorothy Lippert, the Indigenous representative on the WAC Executive, notes "The World Archaeological Congress was founded on the idea that good archaeology involves social justice and that repatriation is one way in which this concept is put into action."

In support of the rights and responsibilities of Indigenous communities, WAC calls for a global moratorium on the testing and sampling of contested human remains that were obtained without consent of the community.

If permission has previously been given for testing, WAC calls for the results of testing to be shared with the Indigenous source communities. "WAC is simply noting the importance of working with Indigenous communities when studying human remains," said Dorothy Lippert, "Research produced with the permission and cooperation of communities is significantly richer and more interesting."

The World Archaeological Congress urges institutions and governments to engage openly and honestly in repatriation negotiations with Indigenous communities and notes the need for these institutions and governments to take financial responsibility for reburial costs to communities. Institutions must prioritise contested human remains when compiling inventories.

The World Archaeological Congress calls on all holding institutions to ensure that information about their collection is readily available and that access to archives for further research is readily available on request. The World Archaeological Congress supports and endorses the use of oral traditions (as intangible cultural heritage) as a viable tool for providing a primary context for repatriation.

The World Archaeological Congress will operationalize these concepts by holding an Inter-Congress on repatriation to be organized by Indigenous peoples.

Presentations and publications at World Archaeological Congress meetings will be aligned with the WAC Code of Ethics, the Vermillion Accord and the Tamaki- Makau-rau Accord to ensure that Indigenous communities have given consent for the presentation of the information involved.

Professor Claire Smith, President of the World Archaeological Congress, notes "These measures will ensure that information provided under the aegis of the World Archaeological Congress will be respectful and collaborative in nature and will not harm the cultural heritage of Indigenous people."

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LARRY ZIMMERMAN WINS INAUGURAL PETER UCKO MEMORIAL AWARD

The World Archaeological Congress is pleased to announce that Larry J. Zimmerman has been awarded the inaugural Peter Ucko Memorial Award in recognition of his significant contributions to world archaeology. Zimmerman was nominated by four colleagues, Joe Watkins, Sonya Atalay, Mike Wilcox and Dorothy Lippert, all of whom are Native American archaeologists. Lippert serves as the Indigenous Representative to the WAC Executive and read the announcement of the Award at the 6th World Archaeological Congress held June 29-July 4 in Dublin, Ireland.

"Larry Zimmerman's work in archaeology paved the way for a generation of Native Americans to believe that we could join this profession without having to sacrifice our deeply held moral beliefs about our rights and responsibilities as Indigenous peoples" said Lippert.

The nomination letter noted that most, if not all, Native American archaeologists have a story to tell about how a publication of Zimmerman's changed their thinking about American archaeology.

The nomination quoted an unnamed scholar, "As a Native undergrad who did not see archaeologists reaching out to the Native population, the actions and writings of Larry inspired me to think that I could participate in the discipline and have my voice heard."

The World Archaeological Congress congratulates Dr. Zimmerman for this achievement and hopes that his work continues to inspire new generations of scholars. "While we will always miss the inspiration of Peter Ucko, we are pleased that his name will be associated with the best of world archaeology," said Claire Smith, President of the World Archaeological Congress.

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MICHAEL DAY DELIVERS INAUGURAL PETER UCKO MEMORIAL LECTURE

The World Archaeological Congress is pleased to announce that Professor Michael Day has delivered the inaugural Peter Ucko Lecture in recognition of his significant contributions to world archaeology.

Professor Day was the first President of the World Archaeological Congress.

Professor Day’s lecture focussed on Peter Ucko’s role in the establishment of the World Archaeological Congress, and its subsequent growth and development.

"Professor Day’s support for Peter Ucko and for the notion of a World Archaeological Congress was a critical factor in its establishment and early success," said Professor Claire Smith, President of the World Archaeological Congress.

“While Peter Ucko was a driving force, the establishment of the World Archaeological Congress depended on the commitment and standing of the key people who supported him. Michael Day’s input was critical to its success.”

“Professor Day’s contributions to world archaeology lie not only in his personal services but also in his critical input to the establishement of this group.” The World Archaeological Congress congratulates Professor Day for his many career achievements and hopes that his work continues to inspire new generations of scholars.

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ETHICAL FUNDING A DILEMMA FOR GLOBAL ORGANISATION

The issue of ethical funding was a hot topic during the Sixth World Archaeological Congress in Dublin, which hosted 1,800 archaeologists, the largest ever international gathering of archaeologists in Ireland.

Around $300,000 was raised to support the participation of people from economically disadvantaged countries and Indigenous groups at the Congress.

“The World Archaeological Congress is committed to increasing the richness of archaeological discussion through drawing on the knowledge of our colleagues in economically disadvantaged situations,” said Professor Claire Smith, President of the World Archaeological Congress.

“We raised our support for economically disadvantaged participants through factoring some support into Congress costings and by seeking funding from a range of sources, including government departments, transnational companies and philanthropic organisations,” said Professor Smith.

“We have found that some members object to each source of support, but especially to funding from large international corporations.”

“The World Archaeological Congress has members in some 90 to 100 countries. Because our membership incorporates a wide range of political and cultural backgrounds, no sponsors would be acceptable to every single member,” said Executive member Jon Price.

“If all members were given a veto on our funding sources the World Archaeological Congress would find itself unable to continue bringing together archaeologists, anthropologists and Indigenous peoples from around the world."

“Who and how we engage with external organisations is critical to who we are as an organisation,” said Professor Smith. “While the operation of the World Archaeological Congress involves interacting with other organisations every day, we have not yet developed a formal process to guide our actions on this.”

“Given that there is such diversity in member views it is essential that we develop processes that are consistent with our core principles, and that these are applied in a transparent manner,” said Professor Smith.

The World Archaeological Congress will develop an ethical funding policy in consultation with membership in the immediate future,” said Professor Smith. “We hope to be able to present recommendations to members by the end of 2008.”

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Further Information: 

Professor Claire Smith
Mobile: 0872 698 353 (Ireland)         
Email: claire.smith@flinders.edu.au

Jon Price
Executive member
Email: jon@mnemosophy.force9.co.uk

Background:
The World Archaeological Congress (WAC) is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization and is the only elected international body of practising archaeologists. WAC holds an international congress every four years to promote the exchange of the results of archaeological research; professional training and public education for disadvantaged nations, groups and communities; the empowerment and betterment of Indigenous groups and First Nations peoples; and the conservation of archaeological sites.

The Sixth World Archaeological Congress (WAC-6) was held from 29th June—4th July at the University College Dublin. This was the first World Archaeological Congress to be held in Ireland. It was attended by over 1,800 archaeologists, native peoples and international scholars from 74 nations. Motions from the Plenary session of the Congress were considered by subsequent meetings of the World Archaeological Congress Council and Executive.

The Congress Patron for WAC-6 was President Mary McAleese. Previous Congress Patrons include Harriet Mayor Fulbright, Prince Charles and Nelson Mandela.

 

Last Updated on Monday, 18 May 2009 13:58
 
The World Archaeological Congress is a non-profit organization: WAC 501(c)(3) 52-2294579 074000010 697011369
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