In the context of a virtual meeting of the Inter-University Network of Human Rights (RIDDHH) that featured the presence of Secretary of Human Rights Horacio Pietragalla Corti, the work team of the ESMA Museum and Site of Memory, lead by executive director Alejandra Naftal, presented the Museum’s nomination to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Members of 50 national universities unanimously passed a declaration of support for the candidacy, as they believe that it contributes to “provide international visibility to crimes against humanity committed by the civic-military dictatorship and the exemplary justice process achieved in democracy thanks to the fight led by human rights organizations”.
The presentation took place during a signing of a cooperation agreement between RIDDHH –part of the National Inter-University Council– and the Secretary of Human Rights. In that regard, Pietragalla Corti state the importance of the network’ support to the UNESCO candidacy and said: “”The fact that Argentina can be a focal point within the UNESCO list is a recognition to a path that has been very frustrating but also very victorious, because the process of Memory, Truth and Justice continues to cause transversal changes in our society”.
On that note, Naftal said that “achieving the nomination would mean the end of a phase, but also the beginning of a much more important one, which is to strengthen the commitment with Memory we took in the eyes of the whole world”. “We need the commitment of the State in all of its dimensions and that is why the support of the Network is essential to be able to shed light on our history and our democracy”, said the executive director.
To complete the presentation, Mauricio Cohen Salama, General Coordinator of the Work Plan for the candidacy, said the project “aims to provide international visibility to Argentina’s two outstanding universal values: State terrorism based on the forced disappearance of people and social consensus as a means for Justice”. Later, Mayki Gorosito, Coordinator of International Relations, said the nomination “is internationally important because it creates citizenship” and that “Argentina has the responsibility to share and provide visibility to this historical memory it shares with Latin America as a whole”.
Finally, RIDDHH Coordinating Rector Franco Bartolacci highlighted the fact that “the role of national universities is to address the issues of their societies” and in that sense he said to be “available to contribute to the candidacy and the search of consensus to support it”. Executive coordinator María del Rosario Badano, agreed on the need of a joint effort, pointing out that the Museum “produces knowledge, actions and ideas”. In turn, Paula Contino, Secretary of Human Rights of the National University of Rosario, said “the candidacy is a national pride that will remain in history”. “We are confident that we will successfully be admitted into the World Heritage List and have Argentine memory become also part of a global memory,” she added.