World Book Capital

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The success of World Book and Copyright Day, launched in 1996, encouraged UNESCO to develop the concept of World Book Capital City, selecting Madrid as the Capital for 2001. This was again a success, and so UNESCO's General Conference resolved to make the designation of a World Book Capital City an annual event.

UNESCO invited the International Publishers Association, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions and the International Booksellers Federation to participate in the nomination process, to ensure the three major branches of the book industry can participate in the decision.

The nomination does not include any financial prize; it rather acknowledges the best programmes dedicated to books and reading.

Nomination criteria[edit]

The nominating committee welcomes programmes — presented by or endorsed by the mayor of the city making the application — that promote and foster reading. The programmes are to run from one World Book and Copyright Day and the next. The nomination committee will turn its attention to certain criteria:

  • the degree of participation of all levels (from the municipal to the international level)
  • the programme's potential impact
  • the scope and quality of the activities proposed by the candidates, and the extent to which they involve writers, publishers, booksellers and libraries
  • any other projects promoting books and reading
  • the extent to which the programme respects the principles of freedom of expression, as stated by 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

World Book Capital cities[edit]

The following cities have been designated as World Book Capitals:

Year City Country
2001 Madrid  Spain
2002 Alexandria  Egypt
2003 New Delhi  India
2004 Antwerp[1]  Belgium
2005 Montreal[2]  Canada
2006 Turin[3]  Italy
2007 Bogotá[4]  Colombia
2008 Amsterdam[5]  Netherlands
2009 Beirut[6]  Lebanon
2010 Ljubljana[7]  Slovenia
2011 Buenos Aires[8]  Argentina
2012 Yerevan[9]  Armenia
2013 Bangkok[10]  Thailand
2014 Port Harcourt[11]  Nigeria
2015 Incheon[12]  South Korea
2016 Wrocław[13]  Poland
2017 Conakry[14]  Republic of Guinea
2018 Athens[15]  Greece
2019 Sharjah[16]  UAE


External links[edit]