Governor General of Canada

Governor General of Canada

September 08, 2011 11:18 ET

Message From His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada on the Occasion of International Literacy Day

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 8, 2011) -

I am delighted that today, September 8, we are celebrating International Literacy Day under the banner of this year's inspiring theme, "Literacy for Peace."

It is no coincidence that my grandchildren call me "Grampa Book"; more often than not, they see me with a book in hand. For as long as I can remember, I have been passionate about literature and, over time, have become a strong advocate of reading and the vital role it plays in our society.

Reading and writing convey the knowledge and wisdom of our ancestors across centuries. They allow us to share our ideas, gain a better understanding of the world, and engage with others in a way that transcends physical space. They shape who we are through the knowledge they impart and, in so doing, help us to reach our full potential.

Literacy is such an integral part of developing a smarter, more caring nation and, by extension, a more just and peaceful world. While it may be a vested right for most of us, hundreds of millions of people are still denied access to this privilege. Although the challenges posed by this situation are many and great, I am absolutely certain that those who rise to these challenges with conviction and determination will overcome them.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the winners of the 2011 International Literacy Prizes for their exemplary commitment to this cause.

I wish you all a wonderful day of celebration.

David Johnston

International Literacy Day was proclaimed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and is celebrated on September 8 of every year.

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