at the Opening
Fifteenth Congress of International Union for Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences Congress,
4th September, 2006
President, World Archaeological Congress
Distinguished guests, Congress participants,
Good morning. I am very happy to be here. I would like thank luiz oosterbeek for inviting me to speak at this meeting. I am very pleased to address my colleagues in the International Union for Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences (IUPPS), the World Achaeological Congress and other archaeological organizations as we participate at this Fifteenth Congress of the IUPPS, being held here in Lisboa.
As President of the World Archaeological Congress, and in collaboration with my colleague, Luiz Oosterbeek, the General Secretary of this Congress, I am pleased to consider this meeting as an opportunity for a kind of rapprochement between the IUPPS and WAC. Many of you will know that the genesis of WAC in 1985 was linked to the IUPPS. I will not go over this history now, but those who are interested will find my views on this in a small paper that is on the IUPPS web site.
At this point, I would simply like to say that today the WAC and the IUPPS are working together in a spirit of co-operation. In the last twenty years, WAC has thrived in its own right, even as the IUPPS continued from strength to strength. Secure in our separate, but related, identities, and the specific roles that each organization takes in the global community, the IUPPS and WAC have become freed from their turbulent pasts, and are developing co-operative, mutually beneficial relationships, in which members of both organizations can profit from the strengths of the other.
This new spirit of co-operation is due largely to the efforts, efficiency-and geniality-of Professor Luiz Oosterbeek, the General Secretary of this Congress. Today, WAC and the IUPPS jointly pursue a vision in which archaeological organizations throughout the world work together to understand and protect our cultural patrimony. Here I would like to cite some words by Vítor Oliveira Jorge, the current President of the IUPPS, concerning this meeting in Portugal:
In a planet where the conflicts and misunderstandings between cultures are spreading in a worrying way, our scientific, cultural and civic mission is to create moments of pause, of meeting together, of exchanges of points of view, and to help to promote a better future for humankind. This future can not be reached but through the deep understanding of persons and groups, and through an absolute equal respect for all the cultural traditions and for the heritage of all cultures and people (Vitor Oliveira Jorge 2004).
The Congresses that are held by the IUPPS and by WAC provide important opportunities for scholars from around the globe to discuss new research, obtain a deeper understanding of the views of others and reflect on how we might advance our discipline. I would like to thank the members of the IUPPS, WAC and other archaeological organizations who are actively contributing to the success of this Congress by convening sessions or presenting papers.
Finally, I would like to congratulate Luiz Oosterbeek for organising such a big and important event.