World Book Capital

The success of World Book and Copyright Day, launched in 1996, encouraged UNESCO to develop the concept of World Book Capital City, selecting Madrid as the Capital for 2001. This was again a success, and so UNESCO's General Conference resolved to make the designation of a World Book Capital City an annual event.

UNESCO invited the International Publishers Association, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions and the International Booksellers Federation to participate in the nomination process, to ensure the three major branches of the book industry can participate in the decision.

The nomination does not include any financial prize; it rather acknowledges the best programmes dedicated to books and reading.

Nomination criteriaEdit

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

World Book Capital citiesEdit

The following cities have been designated as World Book Capitals:

Year City Country
2001 Madrid   Spain
2002 Alexandria   Egypt
2003 New Delhi   India
2004 Antwerp[1]   Belgium
2005 Montreal[2]   Canada
2006 Turin[3]   Italy
2007 Bogotá[4]   Colombia
2008 Amsterdam[5]   Netherlands
2009 Beirut[6]   Lebanon
2010 Ljubljana[7]   Slovenia
2011 Buenos Aires[8]   Argentina
2012 Yerevan[9]   Armenia
2013 Bangkok[10]   Thailand
2014 Port Harcourt[11]   Nigeria
2015 Incheon[12]   South Korea
2016 Wrocław[13]   Poland
2017 Conakry[14]   Republic of Guinea
2018 Athens[15]   Greece
2019 Sharjah[16]   UAE
2020 Kuala Lumpur[17]   Malaysia
2021 Tbilisi[18]   Georgia
2022 Guadalajara[19]   Mexico
2023 Accra[20]   Ghana


  1. ^ IFLA announcement selecting Antwerp as 2004 World Book Capital City at the Library of Congress Web Archives (archived 2013-12-05)
  2. ^ UNESCO announcement selecting Montreal as 2005 World Book Capital City
  3. ^ UNESCO announcement selecting Turin as 2006 World Book Capital City
  4. ^ UNESCO announcement selecting Bogotá as 2007 World Book Capital City
  5. ^ UNESCO announcement selecting Amsterdam as 2008 World Book Capital City
  6. ^ UNESCO announcement selecting Beirut as 2009 World Book Capital City
  7. ^ UNESCO announcement selecting Ljubljana as 2010 World Book Capital City
  8. ^ UNESCO announcement selecting Buenos Aires as 2011 World Book Capital City
  9. ^ UNESCO announcement selecting Yerevan as 2012 World Book Capital City
  10. ^ UNESCO announcement selecting Bangkok as 2013 World Book Capital City
  11. ^ UNESCO announcement selecting Port Harcourt as 2014 World Book Capital City
  12. ^ UNESCO announcement selecting Incheon as 2015 World Book Capital City
  13. ^ UNESCO announcement selecting Wrocław as 2016 World Book Capital
  14. ^ UNESCO announcement selecting Conakry as 2017 World Book Capital
  15. ^ UNESCO announcement selecting Athens as 2018 World Book Capital
  16. ^ UNESCO announcement selecting Sharjah as 2019 World Book Capital
  17. ^ "UNESCO World Book Capital 2020". UNESCO. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  18. ^ "UNESCO World Book Capital 2021". UNESCO. Retrieved 2019-10-07.
  19. ^ "UNESCO World Book Capital 2022". UNESCO. Retrieved 2020-11-04.
  20. ^ "Accra named UNESCO World Book Capital 2023". UNESCO. Retrieved 2021-09-22.

External linksEdit