18.05.2011 - ODG

Director-General highlights the role of women in the 2015 World Expo in Milan and draws attention to the Monza Forum on the future of books

© Regione Lombardia - UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova with Roberto Formigoni, President of Italy’s Lombardy Region, speaking at a press conference in Milan on 17 May 2011, about the Second UNESCO World Forum on Culture and Cultural Industries “FOCUS 2011” to be held in Monza from 6 to 8 June 2011

On 17 May 2011, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova was in Milan, Italy to take part in the second operative meeting of the International Advisory Board for the preparation of Women and World Expo 2015, entitled “Feeding the planet – energy for life” as well as to participate in a press conference about the second UNESCO World Forum on Culture and Cultural Industries organized by Italy’s Lombardy Region.

The Second UNESCO World Forum on Culture and Cultural Industries – “FOCUS 2011”, entitled “The Book Tomorrow: The Future of Written Word” will take place from 6 to 8 June 2011 at the ‘Villa Reale’ in Monza, Lombardy region, near Milan in Italy.

The Director-General noted that it is in UNESCO’s mission to provide an authoritative global platform for all book industry professionals, as well as decision-makers from both South and North, to help them come together to take stock of the ever-evolving context, and to work together to overcome conflicts and determine balanced and sustainable approaches for the future.

Speaking to the press, Irina Bokova highlighted that the upcoming Forum offers a unique opportunity to participate in this discussion at a truly global level. “The “FOCUS 2011” Forum is the global meeting point for all those who, in spite of very diverse points of views, care about publishing and are ready to rethink its features throughout and beyond the digital revolution,” she stated.

The Director-General underlined that the fast spread of digitization of content confronts the printed word and changes the manner in which one reads, writes and thinks in the 21st century. It challenges existing business models and legal frameworks both in book publishing and printed media, in developed and developing countries. “Some are optimistic about the perspectives of reading in the next years. But some ask themselves whether the book still has future. The destiny of millions of children and adults threatened by illiteracy is at stake,” she emphasized.

In conclusion, Irina Bokova said: “The Book Tomorrow” forum will offer a unique opportunity to do something important in favour of books and reading, at a truly global level. Some 100 panellists and altogether some 200 participants, plus thousands of people participating through the Internet and the social media, will join Monza physically or virtually to reflect and exchange on a timely, essential and controversial theme.  I am sure that this international and interdisciplinary dialogue will help to build solid and shared foundations for a better future for books, and more generally for education, culture, science and communication.”

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