In setting aside 23rd April for this purpose, UNESCO seeks to mobilise its member-states worldwide in underscoring the importance of books and authors, the relevance and benefits of cultivating the reading culture especially among our youths and appreciating the role of literary endeavours in the sustenance of our humanity and national development.
This year's celebration focuses on ways to better disseminate the culture of the written word and guarantee access to it by all men, women and children. We are being enjoined in the message of the UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, to appreciate the fact that books are our allies in spreading education, science, culture and information worldwide.
It is instructive that the purpose of the celebration is rooted in efforts at promoting editorial diversity, equitable access to the wealth of books and the protection of copyright and allied intellectual property rights which fall under the mandate of the Commission.
While Bangkok has been designated "World Book Capital 2013" for promoting reading among its young and underprivileged people, UNESCO's choice of Port Harcourt as the World Book Capital for the year 2014 is a source of national pride and inspiration for better appreciation of books and the invaluable benefits of cultivating the reading culture among Nigerians and the citizens of the rest of the global community.
As the regulatory and enforcement agency for copyright protection, the Commission has been alive to its mandate of facilitating the emergence of a favourable environment for entrenchment of a development driven copyright community.
In our drive towards this national goal, the Commission canvasses the continued support of all stakeholders and development partners in the creative industries.