I wish to thank you for your invitation to speak at this Second Biennial Conference of the Reading Association of Nigeria, the theme of which is ‘Bridging the Communication Gap: The Place and Role of Reading in
the Development of National Awareness’. This theme coincides intimately with objectives pursued by UNESCO over many years. The first emphasis is on the a to read, then on the opportunity for reading and thirdly, on the of reading, which means that books and other reading materials should be available. Several of the major tasks assigned to UNESCO at its foundation in 1945 were:— to collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication

-to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image ,
while giving ‘the people of all countries access
-to the printed and published materials produced by any
of them’, and finally,
-to ensure the conservation and protection of the
world’s inheritance of books .