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Books are part of essential human freedom of expression and freedom to publish: UNESCO's Director-General Azoulay
The World Book Day, April 23, coordinated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to promote reading, publishing and copyright was observed across the world.

This year the UNESCO has chosen Athens in Greece to be the World Book Capital for the complete period of the year effective from today.

"The city of Athens was chosen for the quality of its activities, supported by the entire book industry. The aim is to make books accessible to the city's entire population, including migrants and refugees," stated UNESCO.

On the occasion of the World Book Day, Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, in her message said, "Books are at the intersection of some of the most essential human freedoms, primarily freedom of expression and freedom to publish. These are fragile freedoms."

"When we celebrate books, we celebrate activities – writing, reading, translating, publishing – which help individuals to raise and fulfil themselves; and we celebrate, in a fundamental way, the freedoms that make them possible. Books are at the intersection of some of the most essential human freedoms, primarily freedom of expression and freedom to publish," she added.

However, the publishing is faced by many challenges, from the questioning of copyright and cultural diversity to the physical threats looming over authors, journalists and publishers in many countries, these freedoms are also denied, even today, when schools are attacked, and manuscripts and books destroyed, she warned.

She urged, "It is our duty then, everywhere in the world, to protect these freedoms and to promote reading and writing in order to fight illiteracy and poverty and to strengthen the foundations of peace, as well as to protect the publishing-related professions and professionals... Books are part of essential human freedom of expression and freedom to publish."

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