Official Global Launch Event of the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages

Official launch event of the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages

Languages play an important role in the daily lives of all people. It is through language that we communicate with the world, define our identity, express our history and culture, learn, defend our human rights and participate in all aspects of society, to name but a few. Through language, people preserve their community’s history, customs, and traditions, memory, unique modes of thinking, meaning and expression.  They also use it to construct their future. Language is pivotal in the areas of human rights protection, good governance, peace building, reconciliation, and sustainable development.

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages (Ref.: 71/178) in order to raise global attention on the critical risks confronting indigenous languages and its significance for sustainable development, reconciliation, good governance, and peacebuilding. The celebration in 2019 will contribute to the access to, and promotion of, indigenous languages and to a concrete improvement in the lives of indigenous peoples by strengthening the capacities of indigenous language speakers and relevant indigenous peoples’ organizations.

This official launch event is co-organized by UNESCO, UNDESA, and the members of the Steering Committee for organization of the International Year, with the participation of other relevant stakeholders. To be held under the theme “Indigenous languages matter for sustainable development, peacebuilding and reconciliation”, the event will gather high-level governmental representatives, indigenous peoples, civil society, academia, media, information and memory organizations, United Nations agencies, public language harmonization and documentation institutions and the private sector.

The major objective of the official launch event is to provide a global forum for a constructive debate in which high-level speakers address new paradigms for safeguarding, promoting and providing access to knowledge and information for the indigenous languages’ users.

Venue: UNESCO Headquarters (Room II), in Paris, France.

Time: 15.00 p.m. to 18.00 p.m, 18.15 to 19.00 p.m.

Date: Monday, 28 January 2019 

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