17 November 201517 November 2015, on the 38th session the UNESCO General Conference adopted the text of a new standard-setting instrument on the Protection and Promotion of Museums and Collections, their Diversity and their Role in Society. In it the "Member States have agreed on setting and implementing a set of global guidelines for the protection and promotion of museums and collections, which is to become the cornerstone of international museum policies. The adoption of this new recommendation reflects the international community's strong commitment to assisting museums in fulfilling their roles in contemporary society to promote sustainable development and intercultural dialogue. They are one of the most prominent institutions for safeguarding heritage in its all forms.
The elaboration of the Recommendation originated from the desire to supplement and extend the application of standards and principles laid down in existing international instruments referring to the place of museums, and to their related roles and responsibilities. An issue that was increasingly called for, noting especially that the last international instrument wholly dedicated to museums dates to 1960.
Following the preparatory phase which included an expert assessment meeting in Rio de Janeiro in 2012 and after a series of Executive Board resolutions and General Conference Decisions (see detailed chronology and history below), 2013 saw the Member States inviting the Director-General to elaborate a preliminary text of a new non-binding standard-setting instrument, in the form of a recommendation, and to submit the text at its 38th session in November 2015 for its possible adoption.
The publication in 6 UN languages is available by the link below.