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Melissa Fleming, Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, United Nations 

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Picture: © United Nations

Videoscript Melissa Fleming

Hello everyone. Welcome to the 75th Frankfurt Book Fair. My name is Melissa Fleming and I lead global communications at the United Nations. But I’m also a book lover, an author, and a faithful book fair participant.

It is inspiring to see how for 75 years people from all over the world have been gathering in Frankfurt and uniting over books. It is a wonderful testament to their desire to exchange ideas, but mainly the power of the written word. Books are an essential source of knowledge and a powerful tool to understand the world.

Storytelling can help build bridges of compassion and also get people to care. At the United Nations, our ability to change the world for the better often depends on courageous writers and publishers who question established beliefs and authority figures.

At a time when we also celebrate the 75th universal declaration of human rights, one cannot overstate the significance of the freedom to publish and the writer’s freedom to express their own thoughts and ideas. I urge you all to keep on publishing stories to inspire us to be better, kinder, and more inclusive, and to keep on reading those stories too. Together we can really make a difference.


United Nations Publications at #fbm23: Hall / Stand 4.0/F71