The IPA President shared her support for the signing of the WBCN Charter and applauded the efforts of member cities to promote literary culture.
Wroclaw, Poland 26 September, 2022 – Bodour Al Qasimi, President of the IPA has been in Wroclaw, Poland to meet with representatives of the World Book Capital Network (WBCN) and to participate in the signing of the WBCN Charter.
The first meeting of the network was held at the House of Wisdom in Sharjah last year and was attended by 16 representatives from most of the UNESCO-designated World Book Capital cities. Since this productive first gathering, the World Book Capital Network has met in Tbilisi, Georgia and now Wroclaw.
The network has been established with the support of UNESCO and former World Book Capital (WBC) cites to help support prospective World Book Capitals in their efforts to bid for, and host their own events. It also aims to capitalise on lessons learned from previous programs in order to better promote reading and literary culture around the world, and improve future events.
The signing of the WBCN Charter is an important step for the organisation as it formalizes the role of the network, and commits its signatories to help support the initiative and its participants as it goes forward while securing the long-term legacy of the project.
Bodour addressed the gathered delegates and spoke of her admiration for the enormous efforts each book capital has made to better support reading culture and literacy, often in the face of tremendous challenge, paying special tribute to the work of former IPA President Pere Vicens, who established the WBC initiative with the support of UNESCO in 2001.
Sharing some of her own insights gleaned from Sharjah's year as World Book Capital, with particular reference to how the global pandemic effected the running of the event, Bodour noted that, in hindsight, this unforeseeable event provided invaluable lessons in collaboration and community – lessons which can now be shared through the work of the WBCN. She added that Sharjah is committed to supporting the network as it works to build a global community of like-minded people, dedicated to literacy.
Further, in her role as the current IPA President, Bodour underscored the IPA's commitment to supporting the WBC initiative, and promoting their shared goals to bring about a reading revolution through close collaboration and shared her willingness to work alongside the delegates present, and with UNESCO to make WBC a global movement creating strong, cooperative communities through the power of books and reading.