Thursday, December 29, 2016

2019 UN Year of Indigenous Languages

In November 2016, the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly:
13. [Proclaimed] the year beginning on 1 January 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages, to draw attention to the critical loss of indigenous languages and the urgent need to preserve, revitalize and promote indigenous languages and to take further urgent steps at the national and international levels, and invites the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to serve as the lead agency for the Year, in collaboration with other relevant agencies, within existing resources.
The session also '5. [Reaffirmed] the decision to convene a high-level event to mark the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to be held during the seventy-first session of the General Assembly, in 2017'.

Further, the Assembly '12. [Decided] to continue to observe in New York, Geneva and other United Nations offices every year on 9 August the International Day of Indigenous Peoples, requests the Secretary-General to support the observance of the Day from within existing resources, and encourages Governments to observe the Day at the national level'.

Earlier in the document, the Assembly noted that it was:
Deeply concerned at the vast number of endangered languages, in particular indigenous languages, and stressing that, despite the continuing efforts, there is an urgent need to preserve, promote and revitalize endangered languages,
[Recognized] the importance to indigenous peoples of revitalizing, using, developing and transmitting their histories, languages, oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems and literature to future generations,
Let us hope that the annual observance, the high-level event in 2017, and the UN year in 2019 will raise awareness and result in more effective action.

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