AVAAZ Petition - Memory of the World

Translation/Interpretation/Caption Text: 

Why this is important

Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO and a candidate for the next Secretary-General of the United Nations, has publicly
stated that she will veto an entire collection of Palestine documentary heritage materials that has been nominated to the United Nations’ Memory of the World program. 

Ms. Bokova took her stance against the Liberation Graphics Collection of Palestine Posters after being lobbied to do so by the World Jewish Congress. She declared her opposition to the nomination because inscription “could fuel hatred and anti-Semitic perceptions.”

The charge is false. This collection of some 1,600 posters from the 1960s-1990s includes work by hundreds of Palestinian and
international artists. These posters reveal how Palestinians organized and asserted themselves in response to invasion,
occupation, displacement, and exile. They also celebrate Palestinian culture. Collectively the posters contain unique primary data on
Palestinian political, military, cultural, and social history. 

The nominated collection has already been approved unanimously by two MOW expert panels. It faces a final review by a panel meeting in Abu Dhabi on September 30. Ms. Bokova has publicly declared that, irrespective of the experts’ opinion, she will veto the nomination.

This is the first documentary heritage resource ever officially nominated by the state of Palestine to the Memory of the World program.
Inscription would bring world attention to an important genre of posters that heretofore has been banned, censored, and repressed. The
poster art of Palestine should not be stifled based on groundless assertions of anti-Semitism.
 Tell Ms. Bokova you disagree with
her peremptory veto. 

To Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO

By pandering to outside lobbying, and by declaring your intention to veto the entire Liberation Graphics Collection of Palestine Posters even before the expert review process had been completed, you have tarnished UNESCO’s Memory of the World program. Moreover, you have slandered not just individual posters, but an entire body of work from Palestine. Because you have perverted the MOW process and demonstrated your lack of impartiality, we demand that you recuse yourself from the final decision. Step aside and let other UNESCO professionals consider the Palestine collection on its own merits.