In the context of globalization and the rapid advancement of the technological arena, ICOM , along with many nations, communities and other international heritage organizations, recognizes the challenge of preserving cultural identity while promoting cultural diversity. UNESCO's development of a new international instrument for the promotion of cultural diversity provided a direct response to the essential role of cultural diversity in social and economic development. The task of museums in assisting nations to achieve these goals is a critical element in the successful implementation of this instrument, as is ICOM's role in creating dialogue and developing capacities within the heritage community to meet this challenge.
ICOM Strategic planning process for the 2008-2010 cycle was initiated by May 2006, earlier than in previous years. By December 2006 the evaluation of ICOM’s current strategic plan had raised core questions and indicated areas concerning our audience, our service, and the fulfillment of our mission that would benefit from increased attention. The results of this interactive process of exploration and open dialogue with a core group of ICOM's members, committees, strategic partners and staff, gave Council the impetus to advance this process of developing the essential context and elements of the new strategic plan as the guiding tool for our organization.
During early 2007, Council further intensified the review and planning process, both within the organization and through structured, productive dialogue with key partners. The Strategic Planning Committee conducted a thorough gap analysis articulating the environmental scan on which our assumptions are based. The draft plan was then disseminated to the entire ICOM community for further critical review and comment. At the same time the Treasurer worked closely with staff to develop a new framework for the preparation and presentation of a draft triennial budget closely aligned with the key requirements of the plan. The Council wishes to take this opportunity to acknowledge the invaluable contribution of both members and staff in fully engaging in the process at all levels and stages, and lending its own expertise and commitment to this most critical exercise.
ICOM is committed to addressing the divide between developed and developing, the haves and the have nots and must continue its efforts to provide the greatest accessibility possible to all of its invaluable resources to its growing membership, while at the same time reshaping the organization, both at the core and throughout all of its constituent bodies, to better align itself with the aspirations of the international museum community.
Within the volatile social, economic and natural environment in which museums find themselves, ICOM’s vision as “for a world where the importance of the natural and cultural heritage is universally valued” has redefined our purpose and reoriented the critical function which the organization must play as the sponsor of viable museum to museum interaction as a cornerstone of its activities. The sharing and development of knowledge, flexible, mutual support systems, cooperative partnerships and cross cultural dialogue have been identified as key strategies by which ICOM can respond to the needs of the museum community and the people they serve.
Every member of ICOM’s network must be committed to sustaining the integrity of ICOM’s core values, the relevance of its purpose and the validity of ICOM’s Code of professional and ethical practice, while ensuring the resilience and viability of the organization to successfully address the long term challenges of the future.