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International Literacy Day 2003

International Literacy Day, observed on September 8 and at events throughout the week, focuses attention on worldwide literacy issues and needs. “Literacy and Gender” is the UN-endorsed theme for the 2003-2004 years of the International Literacy Decade (2003-2012) designed to give greater thrust to achieving international development goals set out in the Education for All documents.

SIL International, a member of the International Literacy Network (ILN), participated along with other ILN members in an event at the Bangladesh Embassy in Washington D.C. At the invitation of His Excellency, Bangladesh Ambassador Syed Hasan Ahmad, SIL International Relations Director Alan McDonald and other staff presented SIL work in a poster session and joined in the celebration of the Dhaka Ahsania Mission of Bangladesh receiving the 2003 International Reading Association Literacy Award.

SIL also participated in other events, such as those in Bangkok, Thailand. The week-long events in Bangkok included:

  • Thematic Sessions prior to the CONFINTEA V review (Sept. 6-7)
  • UN Literacy Decade Launch (Sept. 8, at IMPACT)
  • CONFINTEA V Review (Sept. 9-11, UN Conference Center)
  • EFA National Coordinators' Meeting (Sept. 10-12, UN Conference Center)

SIL International Asia Area Literacy Coordinator Dr. Susan Malone, SIL International Literacy Consultant Dr. Dennis Malone, and SIL International Relations representative, Paul Giacomini were among those attending the events in Bangkok. The EFA meeting is part of a broader series of national meetings to focus attention on issues affecting indigenous and minority groups.

Throughout the events, SIL representatives engaged with other participants from around the world in discussions on multilingual education issues, language development and literacy among minority peoples. There were also opportunities to encourage interested participants to attend the November Mahidol University-SIL International-UNESCO sponsored conference to be held in Bangkok on Language Development, Language Revitalization and Multilingual Education in Asia.

SIL International annually participates in activities commemorating International Literacy Day. See archived articles for reports on past participation.