The UnitedNations Department of Public Information/News and Media Division will receivethe 2004 International Documentary Association's (IDA) Preservation &Scholarship Award.

The award ispresented annually to an individual or organisation that has made unique andimportant contributions to preserving significant documentaries for futuregenerations, or for educating the public and industry about the rolenon-fiction filmmaking plays in society.

Amhad Fawzi willaccept the award on behalf of the UN in Los Angeles on Dec 10 during the 20thAnnual IDA Distinguished Awards at the Directors Guild of America Theatre.

'The UN hasproduced, distributed, collected and preserved an incomparable library of stillimages, television programmes and documentaries about crucial issues facingmankind,' IDA executive director Sandra Ruch said in a statement.

"They haveinformed countless millions of people around the world about the issuesaffecting their lives. Their archives have preserved that history forposterity, and as a resource for future filmmakers."

The VisualResources Archives are maintained in a climate-controlled environment at UNheadquarters in New York. The vault contains more than 500,000 still images andmillions of feet of 16 mm and 35 mm film.

'This awardrecognises the vision of the founders of the UN who appreciated the importanceof documenting and preserving the history of the organization and itsinitiatives,' IDA president Richard Propper said in a statement.

"It is also atribute to the many dedicated people whose work during the past 59 years hasmade the UN a priceless resource for the public, broadcast news and documentaryfilmmakers around the world.'

Documentaries in the collection include the AcademyAward-winning short documentary First Steps(1948) about the rehabilitation of child polio victims; the Oscar nominated black-and-whiteshort film Oeuverture (1958),depicting the horrors of war; Hide And Seek In Iraq (1993) and its sequel Secrets In The Sand (1997), which document how the Security CouncilSpecial Commission investigated, monitored and destroyed Iraqi weapons of massdestruction.