On Saturday, 14 September 2014, the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) concluded its 34 th World Congress with a closing ceremony at the world-renowned Franz Mayer Museum in Mexico City; thus closing a congress that had attracted over 900 participants.
IBBY is the leading international organization in the promotion of reading and books for young people. Established by the visionary Jella Lepman following the devastation of the World War II, IBBY is committed to encouraging excellence in children’s books, supporting literacy and reading projects around the world, and developing international understanding through children’s books.
In his maiden speech, the newly elected President of IBBY, Wally De Doncker shared his aims for the future of the organization.
“One of our objectives is battling illiteracy. IBBY wants to promote a reading culture and give every child the opportunity to become a life-long reader and this is only possible if the child enjoys reading.”
He went on to say that, “It is unacceptable that there are countries in this day and age in which girls are banned from reading or even learning to read. It remains unacceptable that children’s libraries are being closed because of financial cutbacks, thus rendering books inaccessible to children from underprivileged families.”
He stressed that IBBY must continue to advocate that all children in all circumstances, have the right to read.
He thanked all the organisers, in particular IBBY Mexico/A leer; saying that for all the participants it was an unforgettable experience and must be one of the highlights of their professional lives.
The newly elected members of the IBBY Executive Committee for the term 2014-2016 include children’s literature experts from twelve different countries.
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