UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, has designated the archive of President Sukarno's speech to the UN General Assembly in 1960 as a Memory of the World. Memory of the World itself is UNESCO's effort to protect documentary heritage from destruction, decay and deterioration.
The archive of speeches that had been submitted since 2021 was officially designated as Memory of the World based on the decision of the plenary session of the UNESCO Executive Board on May 10-24, 2023. The archive of Indonesia's first speech is entitled To Build The New World, which was delivered at the UN General Assembly in 1960.
In addition to Bung Karno's (bung means comrade or brother) speech archive, there is also an archive of the First Non-Aligned Movement in Belgrade in 1961, which was established at the same time. Thus, there are currently three important archives related to Indonesian history that have been designated as Memory of the World. Before these two archives, there was the Asia-Africa Conference (KAA) Archive, which was also included in Memory of the World. These three archives are known as the "Three Golden Ink of the 20th Century". The Asia-Africa Conference (KAA) Archive, which consists of portraits of delegates and recorded speeches, was included in the Memory of the World on October 8, 2015.
These three important archives are not only related to the history of Indonesia, but also contribute to global civilization. In addition, these historical archives become a collective memory for the Indonesian people and the world.
They symbolically position Indonesia in the current and future geopolitical arena. In addition, these archives also remind every nation to adhere to the political principles of the founding fathers. As a state entity, Indonesia should see them not only as historical heritage, but also as a reflection of the current state and the future.
In the plenary session of the UNESCO Executive Board held from May 10 to 24, the 17th century Hikayat Aceh Manuscript was also designated as a Memory of the World. Previously, the manuscript had been submitted since 2017 through a collaboration between the Aceh government, the National Library of the Republic of Indonesia, and Leiden University in the Netherlands.
The manuscript recounts the life of the sultans and the Sultanate of Aceh before and during the reign of Sultan Iskandar Muda from 1590 to 1636. The manuscript not only contains stories that describe the history and culture of the Acehnese people, but also prohibits intolerance among officials, religious leaders, and the people. There are so many multicultural values contained in the manuscript, which is why UNESCO designated this manuscript as a Memory of the World.
Currently, the Hikayat Aceh manuscript is included in the rare collection because there are not many copies. There are only three manuscripts of Hikayat Aceh have been found, two of which are in Leiden University in the Netherlands and one in the National Library of Indonesia. It is hoped that the Memory of the World will be able to protect documentary heritage in the world, not only as a historical heritage, but also as a form of learning.