World Book Capital City
An acknowledgement of the best programme dedicated to books and reading.
Based on the positive experience of World Book and Copyright Day, launched in 1996, UNESCO initiated the concept of World Book Capital City and nominated Madrid as the Capital for Year 2001. Following this successful experience, the General Conference adopted, on 2 November 2001, the 31 C/Resolution 29, establishing the yearly nomination of the Book Capital City.
An agreement was concluded among the partners that, after Madrid (2001), the subsequent capitals would be Alexandria in 2002 and New Delhi in 2003. Then, following public calls for candidatures, the Selection Committee gathered at UNESCO Headquarters and successively nominated the city of Antwerp (Belgium) for 2004, Montreal (Canada) for 2005, Turin (Italy) for 2006, Bogota (Colombia) for 2007, Amsterdam (the Netherlands) for 2008, Beirut (Lebanon) for 2009, Ljubljana (Slovenia) for 2010, Buenos Aires (Argentina) for 2011, Yerevan (Armenia) for 2012 and Bangkok (Thailand) for 2013.
The candidate programmes, presented or endorsed by the major of the applicant city, shall be aimed at promoting books and fostering reading during the period between one World Book and Copyright Day and the next (23 April). The selection committee will examine the candidate programmes, making a special effort to involve all regions of the world in turn, in accordance with the following criteria:
UNESCO has received 11 applications to the “World Book Capital City 2014” nomination:
The Selection Committee convened on 5 July 2012 at UNESCO Headquarters and submitted its recommendation to UNESCO’s Director-General, who officially designated the city of Port Harcourt as World Book Capital 2014.
Port Harcourt has been nominated on account of the quality of its programme, in particular its focus on youth, and the impact it will have on improving Nigeria’s culture of books, reading, writing and publishing to improve literacy rates.
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