On 28 August 2020, Blue Shield International held their triennial General Assembly virtually, bringing together national committees, committees under construction, and partner organisations, including IFLA as one of the Four Founding organisations.

Blue Shield International is a non-governmental, non-profit, international organisation committed to the protection of heritage across the world. The International Committee of the Blue Shield was created in 1996 by the Founding Four organisations, representing the fields of archives, libraries, monuments and sites, and museums:

  • International Council on Archives (ICA)
  • International Council of Museums (ICOM)
  • International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)
  • International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)

IFLA’s participation helps ensure the safeguarding of global libraries in the face of armed conflict and other disasters. IFLA is represented on the board of Blue Shield International by Secretary General Gerald Leitner.

Due to COVID-19, a virtual General Assembly was held in August 2020 to allow national committees and the Founding Four organisations to elect the President and board members for the term 2020-2023. Other matters included the approval of the Report of the Board (2017-2020), the Financial Report (2017-2020), and the 2020-2023 Strategic Plan. All other business will be postponed to an extraordinary General Assembly, to be held in Prague in 2021.

IFLA thanks outgoing president Karl Habsburg for his years of service and excellent work raising the profile of Blue Shield. We welcome the incoming President, Peter G. Stone (United Kingdom), and incoming board members Hamady Gaye (Senegal), Kidong Bae (Republic of Korea), Klaus Weschenfelder (Germany), and Lidia Klupsz (Poland), who will join Gerald Leitner as IFLA’s representative, as well as the representatives of other founding organisations.

We are looking forward to working with the new President and board in setting out a clear path for the Blue Shield that maximises the value it brings for libraries, complementing IFLA’s own ongoing work to ensure the protection of libraries against disasters.

Interested in getting more involved in Blue Shield? Find out if your country has a National Committee here.