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World Book Capital

Decision of the selection committee

The selection committee of the World book Capital 2004, made up of Pere Vicens, Representative of the International Publishers Association (IPA), Françoise Dubruille, Representative of The International Booksellers' Federation (IBF), Ross Shimmon, Representative of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and Milagros del Corral in the capacity of UNESCO representative, met on 17 January 2003 under the chairmanship of the President of IPA in order to examine the applications to the nomination of the World Book Capital 2004, in accordance with Resolution 3.18 of the 28 of the General Conference of UNESCO.

The selection Committee examined all the candidates received in due form and time:
Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), Barcelona (Spain) and Antwerp (Belgium).

After deliberation, the Committee unanimously decided to nominate the city of Antwerp (Belgium) as World Book Capital 2004 because of the excellence of the programme submitted, including a number of aspects of book promotion, like book sales, books and reading, literature, services, crafts, books for the youths, books and cultural diversity and books and cultural minorities.

The Committee believes that the application of Antwerp constitutes a model, because of the comprehensive nature and of the rich documentation provided.

Paris, January 17, 2003

Milagros del Corral, UNESCO
Françoise Dubruille, IBF
Ross Shimmon, IFLA
Pere Vicens, IPA

UNESCO's association with the World Book Capital

The General Conference,

Recalling 28 C/Resolution 3.18, in which it decided to proclaim 23 April of every year World Book and Copyright Day.

Reiterating the historical importance of books a the most powerful tool for the dissemination of knowledge and the most effective means of preserving it, and its belief that all initiatives aimed at enhancing the impact of books constitute a means of cultural enrichment for all those who have access to them and, furthermore, can only serve to develop fuller public awareness of the treasures of the world cultural heritage and to foster understanding, tolerance and dialogue,

Emphasizing that World Book and Copyright Day has since 1996 enjoyed increasing success among the Member States and their civil societies, in particular thanks to the initiative of book professionals and their associations,

Welcoming the initial incentive provided by UNESCO,

  1. Believes that it would be desirable for this one-day event to continue all year long in a candidate city to be chosen by the international professional associations concerned, in consultation with UNESCO, and for that city to be designated World Book Capital from one Book and Copyright Day to the next;
  2. Emphasizes that the city chosen and the international professional associations involved would need to make a special effort throughout the year to conduct significant activities in that place;
  3. Also emphasizes the importance of involving all regions of the world in turn;
  4. Considers the 2001 activities in Madrid to be a positive experience which may be replicated elsewhere with a greater number of partners;
  5. Adopts this idea and invites the international professional associations concerned to work together to put it into practice;
  6. Urges the Director-General to provide the Organization’s moral and intellectual support for the design and implementation of this project.