23 April 2013: World Book and Copyright Day
UN (The United Nations) highlighted the diversity of books and the protection of plots and protagonists and other content on the occasion of World Book and Copyright Day celebrations on 23 April 2013. As part of UNESCO’s effort to support literacy, for the year 2013, Bangkok was designated as a World Book Capital. The Paris-based agency UNESCO chose the Thai capital in recognition of its programme to promote reading among young people and underprivileged sections of the population. Bangkok’s theme is Bangkok, Read for Life.
UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) emphasised the importance of bibliodiversity and declared it as common wealth. According to UNESCO press release, the diversity of books and editorial content is a source of enrichment that must be supported through appropriate public policies and protection from uniformity.
World Book and Copyright Day or World Book Day is marked annually on 23 April, a symbolic date for World Literature. World Book Day was celebrated for the first time on 23 April 1995, at Paris. In 1995, UNESCO decided that the World Book and Copyright Day would be celebrated on 23 April. On this day in 1611, Miguel de Cervantes, William Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors such as Maurice Druon, Haldor K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo. The connection between 23 April and books was first made in 1923 by booksellers in Spain as a way to honour the author Miguel de Cervantes, who died on that day.
UNESCO has also marked this day for UNESCO Prize for Children's and Young People's Literature in the Service of Tolerance. This day was done by UNESCO in its General Conference, held in Paris in 1995 for paying world-wide tribute to authors and books on 23 April and to encourage everyone (particularly the young people) to discover the pleasure of reading to gain a renewed respect for the irreplaceable contributions of those who have furthered the social and cultural progress of humanity.
Background of World Book Capital City
World Book Capital City is an initiative that is inspired from the World Book and Copyright Day and is being observed since 2000. This is an initiative of professional organizations that receives UNESCO assistance and is backed by the States. Under this initiative, every year a city is chosen to undertake the maintenance of the impetus of the Day’s Celebration until 23 April of the following year through its own initiatives.