Canadian Statement on the Decision for IFLA WLIC 2024 to be held in Dubai
July 4, 2023
June 30, 2023 – We, the Canadian bodies undersigned, are united in our concern that Dubai has been selected by the Governing Board to be the host of the World Library and Information Congress for 2024. While we fully acknowledge that a range of considerations has been weighed by the Governing Board, we do not support the decision. We believe the human rights record of the UAE places a considerable number of participants in the Congress at real and undue risk and compromises IFLA’s value of free expression.
The concerns are well expressed in the statement of the IFLA LGBTQ+ Users Special Interest Group. We stand behind this group in their request that the board provide information on “how they plan to reconcile this situation where one of the parts of IFLA is not allowed to meet and many of the individual members will feel they cannot attend, because of the choice of the location, and how can IFLA avoid these situations in the future”.
We look forward to the Governing Board responding to that request.
The role of the Congress as a gathering place to come together and discuss our successes and our continued challenges cannot be met unless the right to free expression is upheld for all IFLA members.
IFLA Member Associations:
Canadian Association of Research Libraries / Association des bibliothèques de recherche du Canada
Canadian Federation of Library Associations / Fédération canadienne des associations de bibliothèques
Canadian Urban Libraries Council/Conseil des Bibliothèques Urbaines du Canada
Fédération des milieux documentaires
Ontario Library Association
IFLA Member Institutions:
Guylaine Beaudry, Trenholme Dean of Libraries, McGill University
Stéphanie Gagnon, Directrice générale des bibliothèques, Université de Montréal
Ottawa Public Library
Regina Public Library
Toronto Public Library
Larry P. Alford, University Chief Librarian, University of Toronto Libraries
Vancouver Public Library
Catherine Steeves, Vice-Provost & Chief Librarian, Western University