UNICEF deposits Child Convention in AWA
Published November 20, 2019

To celebrate World Children’s Day and 30-year anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF has stored the document forever in the Arctic World Archive (AWA).

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was unanimously adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on November 20th, 1989.

UNICEF has chosen to store the document both as a DNA file, which is an emerging data storage technology, and on piqlFilm as a tried and tested technology that ensures future accessibility.

Kristin Oudmayer - Director Childrens Rights - Making the introductory speech at the deposit of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

‘We decided to store the Convention on the Rights of the Child in DNA because it is a storage medium that will last for millions of years. However, we also needed a safe place to guard it, and we were lucky enough to find the perfect location here in Norway,’ says UNICEF Norway’s Executive director, Camilla Viken.

‘The Arctic World Archive is not only secure, but also holding a collection of highly important information and cultural heritage. What better place to store what we view as the world’s most important document than here?’ she said.

The Arctic World Archive is a safe repository for world memory, located on the remote island of Svalbard, a demilitarised zone governed by an international treaty. Data stored here on piqlFilm can last centuries with guaranteed future accessibility. AWA is a joint initiative between Piql, creator of the storage medium, and Store Norske Spitzbergen Kullkompani (SNSK).

Managing Director of Piql, Rune Bjerkestrand, attending the event with his two sons, said that this is an important addition the existing AWA collection of world memory.

‘This document captures the moment that defined history and continues to define our present. Few documents carry the weight of this declaration and it deserves to be stored forever’, he said.

Both the piqlFilm and DNA will be stored in AWA for centuries to come. DNA is also a durable medium and was chosen as the campaign focused on how the rights of children is in our DNA.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child - Stored on piqlFilm in the piqlBox and in DNA.

This is be the first document to be officially stored on DNA.

The unique properties of piqlFilm, as a self-contained medium, providing guaranteed future access, complements the emerging DNA technology. Dual storage on both mediums offer UNICEF assurance that it will be accessible for future generations.

This document will join the recent contribution of open source code repositories from Github, manuscripts from the Vatican Library, national archives from around the world, masterpiece artworks, contemporary sound and visual art, scientific breakthroughs, archaeological finds, and many more.

From left to right: Marianne Myhrer Kristiansen, Director Private Market (UNICEF) and Amer Farid, Director Corporate Market (UNICEF)

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Want to join a deposit on Svalbard?

To visit Svalbard is on many people's bucket list, and we recommend everyone who stores their precious memories in AWA to participate in a deposit ceremony.