Celebration of the International Literacy Day in UNESCO Headquarters

September 8th was proclaimed as International Literacy Day (ILD) by UNESCO in 1966 to remind the international community of the importance of literacy for individuals, communities and societies, and the need for intensified efforts towards more literate societies.

This year’s International Literacy Day will be celebrated worldwide to promote literacy as part of the right to education, as well as a foundation for individuals’ empowerment and inclusive and sustainable development. With the specific theme of ‘Literacy and Multilingualism’, ILD 2019 will provide an opportunity to rethink the fundamental importance of the language and its diversity for individuals and society.

Despite progress made, literacy challenges still persist, distributed unevenly across countries and populations. Embracing linguistic diversity in education and literacy development is central to addressing these challenges in today’s world, in which multilingualism has become increasingly common with higher human mobility. Multilingualism contributes to the development of inclusive societies that allow multiple cultures, worldviews and knowledge systems to coexist and cross fertilize. It is also characteristics of many marginalized and at risk populations, including migrants, refugees and other people on the move. ILD2019 is an opportunity to rethink literacy in multilingual contexts by exploring current trends and issues of ‘literacy and multilingualism’ from holistic and interdisciplinary perspectives.

On 9 September, UNESCO invites the international community to the 'Literacy and multilingualism' conference in Paris on the occasion of International Literacy Day with the main objectives to:

• Have a better grasp of global landscapes of ‘literacy and multilingualism’ in today’s world and generate ideas to build on previous efforts to promote literacy in multilingual contexts;

• Examine main characteristics of ‘literacy and multilingualism’ in today’s globalized, digitalized world for improved policies and practice;

• Identify main factors that make policies and programmes to promote literacy and multilingualism more inclusive and effective.

• Explore elements of conducive environments, conditions, and partnerships that can help expanding mother language-based, multilingual approaches to literacy.

For more information about the conference, please contact m.yasunaga@unesco.org


Type of Event Category 4- International Congress
Start 09.09.2019 09:00 local time
End 09.09.2019 18:00 local time
Date to be fixed 0
Focal point Yasunaga, Mari
Country France
City Paris
Venue UNESCO Headquarters
Room Room IV
Permanent Delegation Contact
Major Programme
Language of Event English, French, Spanish
Estimated number of participants
Official Website
Link 1 International Literacy Day
Link 2 UNESCO and Literacy
Link 3 Concept note
Link 4 Agenda