The 1980 Archives for the May 18th Democratic Uprising in Gwangju have been recently listed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.
UNESCO's listing of the documents recognizes the importance not only for Korea, but also for the world, of preserving the documents related to the Gwangju Uprising. UNESCO has listed the Archives of the May 18th Democratic Uprising against Military Regime' which have been collected and preserved in Gwangju, under the category of 'Human Rights Documentary Heritage'. UNESCO's listing of the documents of the Gwangju Uprising recognises the importance of the Gwangju Uprising not only for bringing democracy to Korea, but also for the contribution which the uprising made for 'dissolving the Cold War structure and... [inspiring] various democratic movements' in Asia, including in 'the Phillipines, Thailand, China, Vietnam and elsewhere...'
The UNESCO Memory of the World Register citation reads that, 'The May 18th Democratic Uprising not only played a pivotal role in the democratization of South Korea but also affected other countries in East Asia by dissolving the Cold War structure and achieving democracy. After the 1980s, various democratic movements took place in the Philippines, Thailand, China, Vietnam, and elsewhere in an attempt to follow in Korea's footsteps. The documentary items related to the Uprising, which took place in Gwangju, Korea between 18 and 27 May 1980, take the form of documents, photos, images, etc. relating to the citizens' rebellion, punishment of the perpetrators, and compensation.'