World Book Capital City


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World Book Capital 2009

The Selection Committee for the World Book Capital is calling for nominations for the World Book Capital 2009. The candidate programmes shall be aimed at promoting books and fostering reading during the period between one World Book and Copyright Day (23 April) and the next.


The complete applications, duly substantiated, including a cover or support letter from the mayor of the candidate-city and drafted in one of UNESCO’s official languages (French, English, Spanish, Russian, Arabic or Chinese), should reach UNESCO no later than Friday 30 March 2007. No application received after this date will be taken into consideration.

To involve all regions  of the world in turn, the Selection Committee will avoid the consecutive nomination of cities from the same region. Since the 2008 title was awarded to a European city (Amsterdam), no candidature from the Europe/North America region will be taken into consideration for the 2009 nomination.

The applicants' programme proposals will be examined in the light of the following five criteria:

1. the submission of an activity programme specifically conceived for the World Book Capital City programme and implemented during the city's term as Capital City.
2. the degree of municipal, regional, national and international involvement and the impact of the programmes.
3. the quantity and quality of one-time or ongoing activities organized by the applicant city in collaboration with national and international professional organizations representing writers, publishers, booksellers and librarians and in full respect of the various players in the book supply chain.
4. the quantity and quality of any other noteworthy projects promoting and fostering books and reading.
5. the conformity with the principles of freedom of expression, freedom to publish and to distribute information, as stated in the UNESCO Constitution as well as by Articles 19 and 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and by the Agreement on the Importation of Educational, Scientific and Cultural Materials (Florence Agreement).

By presenting its application each candidate city commits itself, in case of nomination, to:

  • Associate UNESCO, as well as the three professional associations represented in the Selection Committee, in its communication and information campaign, at all levels;
  • Provide UNESCO, which will share it with all members of the Selection Committee, with a final report on the activities implemented during the nomination year. Besides, the City authorities will facilitate possible evaluation audits implemented on UNESCO’s demand.

The Selection Committee – operating under the auspices of UNESCO – is made up of one representative of the International Publishers Association (IPA), one representative of the International Booksellers’ Federation (IBF), one representative of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and one UNESCO representative, under the chairmanship of the President of IPA. The Committee’s task is to choose a World Book Capital each year, in accordance with 31 C/Resolution 29, adopted by the UNESCO General Conference on 2 November 2001. The first World Book Capital chosen prior to the adoption of 31 C/Resolution 29 was Madrid, in 2001. Subsequent World Book Capital Cities have been Alexandria (2002), New Delhi (2003), and Antwerp (2004).  Montreal is the current World Book Capital City and will be succeeded by Turin (2006), Bogotá (2007) and Amsterdam (2008).

Contact: Mr Mauro Rosi
UNESCO, Culture Sector, Division of Arts and Cultural Enterprise
1, rue Miollis
F-75732 Paris Cedex 15
Tel.: +33 1 45 68 46 33
Fax: +33 1 45 68 55 95


File/document Countries by region.pdf
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