Each year, UNESCO and the international organizations representing the three major sectors of the book industry—the International Publishers Association (IPA), and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)—select the World Book Capital for a one-year period, effective 23 April each year.
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
This initiative, in addition to the celebration of World Book and Copyright Day, represents a collaborative undertaking by key stakeholders in the publishing world and cities to promote books and literacy.
Sharjah (United Arab Emirates) was named World Book Capital for the year 2019 by the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova.
The city was selected because of the very innovative, comprehensive and inclusive nature of the application, with a community-focused activity program containing creative proposals to engage the very large migrant population.
With the slogan "Read - you are in Sharjah", the program focuses on six themes: inclusivity, reading, heritage, outreach, publishing and children. Among other things there will be a conference on freedom of speech, a contest for young poets, workshops for creating Braille books and tactile books as well as many events for Sharjah's multi-ethnic population.
The city's objective is to foster a culture of reading in the United Arab Emirates and birth new initiatives to meet the challenge of literary creation in the area and in the rest of the Arab world.
Other World Book Capitals are:
Athens (2018) and Conakry (2017). Past winners include Madrid (2001), Alexandria (2002), New Delhi (2003), Anvers (2004), Montreal (2005), Turin (2006), Bogota (2007), Amsterdam(2008), Beirut (2009), Ljubljana (2010), Buenos Aires (2011), Erevan (2012), Bangkok (2013), Port Harcourt (2014), Incheon (2015), Wroclaw (2016).
1. Match the following World Book Capitals with their Countries
World Book Capital Country
1. Conakry A. UAE
2. Sharjah B. Guinea
3. Anvers C. South Korea
4. Incheon D. Belgium