are celebrating today the first International Literacy Day
of the third millennium.
We must never forget that literacy
is indeed a cause for celebration: for individuals and their
families and for society at large. Humankind has achieved
spectacular progress in regard to literacy: there are now
close to four billion literate people in the world.
Moreover, many of today's rapid technological advances are
focused on information and communication, which are central
to the practice of literacy. The new information and
communication technologies offer the prospect of many new
and fascinating opportunities to literate persons.
from the Director-General's Message on the occasion of
International Literacy Day, 8 September 2001