April 23, 2007 was the twelfth annual World Book and Copyright Day. In a recently published message, UNESCO director-general Koïchiro Matsuura invited “all countries and UNESCO’s partners and friends to join us and contribute to this important event, which places the key issues of quality, pluralism and integration, together with the sharing of knowledge and its dissemination, at the very heart of the project to promote knowledge societies”
In his message, Mr. Matsuura noted that, since World Book and Copyright Day was first celebrated in 1996, it had provided opportunities for countless people from cultures all over the world to consider the vital multiple roles that books play in the educational, cultural, and economic fabric of our societies. “The linguistic dimension of publishing, an instrument of expression that lives through language and within a language, has also been emphasized,” he continued. Noting that there could be no book development without copyright, Mr Matsuura took the opportunity to emphasize the importance of the moral and heritage protection afforded to works of the mind and their authors.
Concerning the question of cultural diversity, we draw your attention to a passage from Mr. Matsuura’s address in which he declares that “This year, more than ever, I wish to emphasize the complementarity of all these aspects and highlight their importance with regard to freedom of expression and the safeguarding and promotion of expressions of cultural diversity, which are major issues for humanity.” We invite you to read Mr. Matsuura’s remarks by clicking on this link.