On the occasion of the UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day (23 April), Minister of State Maria Böhmer, Special Representative of the Federal Foreign Office for UNESCO World Heritage, UNESCO Cultural Conventions and UNESCO Education and Science Programmes, issued the following statement:
Open and unhindered access to books, cultural works and information is essential for people to be able to develop an informed opinion and to express their views freely.
In Germany, UNESCO World Book Day on 23 April is being celebrated with a large-scale reading extravaganza: many publishing houses, foundations, libraries and schools are holding book-related events. The aim is to encourage children and young people in particular to develop a passion for reading. Access to books always also means access to education and culture. That is a crucial requirement for successful integration into our society and for social participation.
In many countries in crisis and conflict regions, access to books remains a privilege reserved for the few. World Book Day aims to raise awareness of this problem and draw attention to it. In view of the comprehensive commitment to education in the fourth goal of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we must not relax our efforts in Germany and throughout the world, but continue to do everything in our power to drive forward initiatives to promote reading.