The National Archives Holds Its Annual Forum and Discusses Its Projects and Strategic Plans

The National Archives Holds Its Annual Forum and Discusses Its Projects and Strategic Plans

The National Archives Holds Its Annual Forum and Discusses Its Projects and Strategic Plans

The National Archives of the United Arab Emirates organized a forum attended by all Directors and staff members. H.E. Dr. Abdulla El Reyes, the Director-General, opened the forum, launching three electronic initiatives: The e-Correspondence Management System, Ownek, and e-Office.

After the launch of the electronic programs, H.E. reviewed the history of the National Archives commending the farsightedness of the founding leader Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan who gave directions to establish the National Archives, known then as Documents and Research Bureau, in order to preserve the U.A.E.’s history. This vision gave rise to today’s National Archives. His Excellency said that Sheikh Zayed’s words, "He who does not know his past cannot live the present or the future,” represented a road map to action at the National Archives; they directed us to pay attention to documenting the history of the U.A.E.

Dr. El Reyes emphasized that the National Archives’ evolution and distinction is a realization of the aspirations of His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs, and Chairman of the National Archives. Since these aspirations wanted the National Archives to achieve a quantum leap to become the best archival center in the world, accordingly came the transformation from the old system to high-tech one, and His Highness gave his full support, follow-up, and guidance to this process of evolution with all its details.

His Excellency confirmed the National Archives’ responsibility to work within the framework of the strategic priorities of the U.A.E. Vision 2021 as well as its national quest for a coherent community that maintains its identity and for a competitive knowledge-based economy, a sustainable environment, and an integrated infrastructure. 

H.E. reviewed the most prominent projects of the Strategic Plan 2013-2015.  Then, he discussed the next strategic plan 2016-2018, and provided some facts and figures that refer to the National Archives’ evolution such as the number of staff members, electronic services, documents, documentaries, publications, memorandums of understanding, and local and international partnerships in addition to the most prominent conferences and exhibitions in which the National Archives is interested to participate.   

The Director-General of the National Archives expressed his satisfaction with the outcome of the 12th biennial meeting of the International Advisory Committee of the UNESCO Memory of the World Program. H.E. indicated that the Deputy Director-General of UNESCO, Mr. Bojan Radu Yakov, in the name of all participants in the meetings of the IAC, expressed his deep thanks to the U.A.E. leadership and to H.H. Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Chairman of the National Archives. He also expressed his great gratefulness for the sincere welcome and generous attention they received praising the outstanding organization and hospitality.

The 3rd day session of the M.O.W. meetings concluded in approving decisions and recommendations, mainly approving 44 documents out of the 86 documents that were considered during the meeting for inscription in the M.O.W. Register. Additionally, the reports of the Marketing, the Research and Education, and the Technical sub-Committees of the IAC were approved.  The U.A.E. proposed to change the work mechanisms of the M.O.W. comprehensively. It also suggested some amendments to the Statute and the Rules of procedures as well as the inscription procedures in Memory of the World.  

H.E. Dr. El Reyes indicated that the  International Advisory Committee of  the UNESCO Memory of the World discussed a proposal to hold a world summit for the program at the end of 2016, so that  national committees, regional branches, and M.O.W. specialized committees from all over the world meet with the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), and the International Council on Archives (ICA).

H.E. Director-General thanked all National Archives’ staff on their efforts and sincere intentions, efforts and challenging spirit, which stand behind the several exceptional achievements. Thus, the National Archives became a leading archival organization loaded with innovations, initiatives, and positive energy. He also pointed out that the steadfast efforts of the employees resulted in excellence prizes, mainly the Stevie International Award, emphasizing that excellence is not merely a slogan but it is an action plan that aims to create a system of excellence.  

H.E. commended the services the National Archives introduces to clients and the publications that serve the history of the U.A.E. and the Gulf region in addition to serving documentation and modern archiving sciences. He praised the National Archives’ efforts in pursuit of documents related to the U.A.E. and the Gulf region history in all world archives. He referred to the importance of the memorandums of understanding which the National Archives signs with other major archives and various entities to enhance the documenting and technical operations. 

H.E. discussed the importance of the National Archives on the political, legal, social, economic, and historical levels. He reviewed all the stages that the National Archives went through and all the entities to which it affiliated. He spoke about the N.A.’s building and its features, which serve the memory of the nation in content and shape, and he pointed out that the exterior of the building mimics Al Jahili Fort and is closely related to the heart of the U.A.E.'s heritage.

It is worth mentioning that Hamad Al Mutairi, Head of the National Archives’ IT section, highlighted the initiatives launched by H.E. Abdulla El Reyes, the Director-General, together with the supporter of the project H.E. Majid Al Mehairi, the Executive Director. He illustrated the importance of those initiatives in serving the employee and saving time indicating the advantages provided by e-office such as displaying attendance time and pending requests, in addition to the option of submitting requests, reviewing services offered by departments and some sections of the National Archives as well as reviewing projects and electronic and administrative systems. 

He then discussed the e-correspondence, which enables the employee to record and save all correspondence in addition to e-signature, confidentiality, and reducing paperwork to achieve paper-free offices. Al Mutairi concluded with Ownek Technical Support, which is designed to raise the level of e-services through solving the problems faced by staff and following them up electronically.

Al Mutairi reviewed the smart applications in the National Archives such as the volumes of the Sheikhs’ Diaries, Sheikh Zayed’s Audio Library, and the National Archives’ application, which is full of more than a thousand documents with captions, and more.