On the occasion of World Book and Copyright Day (WBCD), April 23, in her message, Irina Bokova, UNESCO's Director-General described books as the most powerful forces of poverty eradication and peace building and said that the history of the written word was the history of humanity. Created by UNESCO, the WBCD was celebrated for the first time on April 23 in 1995.
"The power of books to advance individual fulfillment and to create social change is unequalled. Intimate and yet deeply social, books provide far-reaching forms of dialogue between individuals, within communities and across time," said Bokova.
Urging all those who write, produce and read books, Bokova stressed the need to celebrate books as the embodiment of human creativity to share ideas and knowledge as well as inspire understanding and tolerance among people. On the occasion of WBCD, UNESCO also released its publication "Reading in the Mobile Era" and named Port Harcourt in Nigeria as the 2014 World Book Capital.
Advocating the rights of authors by championing copyright and open access, Bokova added in her message, "Books are not immune from a world of change, embodied in the advent of digital formats and the transition to open licensing for knowledge-sharing. This means more uncertainty but also new opportunity - including for innovative business models in the world of publishing."
"Our goal is clear to encourage authors and artists and to ensure that more women and men benefit from literacy and accessible formats, because books are our most powerful forces of poverty eradication and peace building," she concluded.