Languages play a crucial role in the daily lives of people, not only as a tool for communication, education, social, integration and development, but also as a repository for each person’s unique identity, cultural history, tradition and memory.
Despite their immense value, languages around the world continue to disappear at an alarming rate. In order to make people benefit from the language they speak, as well as make others appreciate the important contribution these languages make to our world’s rich cultural diversity, it is necessary to raise the awareness on these languages.
Back in 2016, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages, based on a recommendation by the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. The Forum said that 40 per cent of the estimated 6,700 languages spoken around the world were in danger of disappearing. In addition, indigenous peoples are often isolated both politically and socially in the countries they live in, by the geographical location of their communities, their separate histories, cultures, languages and traditions.
With reference to the organization of the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages, UNESCO together with a range of different partners prepared an Action Plan.
Celebrating IYIL2019 will help to promote and protect indigenous languages and improve the lives of those who speak them. It will contribute to achieving the objectives set out in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People and the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. The celebration is also expected to strengthen and reinforce the many standard-setting tools adopted by the international community which include specific provisions to promote and protect languages. For more details you can visit IYIL2019 website.