2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages to be launched this month at UNESCO

08 January 2019

UNESCO, in its capacity of the leading UN agency of the International Year of Indigenous Languages, will organize the Official Global Launch event of the 2019 International Year on Monday, 28 January 2019 from 15.00 p.m. to 18.00 p.m., in its Headquarters in Paris (Room II).

This official launch event is co-organized by UNESCO, UNDESA, and the members of Steering Committee for the organization of the International Year, as well as with the participation of other relevant stakeholders.

To be held under the theme “Indigenous languages matter for sustainable development, peace building and reconciliation”, the official launch will gather high-level governmental officials, indigenous peoples, civil society, academia, media, information and memory organizations, United Nations agencies, public language harmonization and documentation institutions and private sector bodies.

This event aims at providing a global forum for a constructive debate in which high-level speakers and prominent experts will address new paradigms for safeguarding, promoting and providing access to knowledge and information for the indigenous languages’ users.

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, traditions and memory. However, despite their immense value, languages around the world continue to disappear at an alarming rate.

With this in mind, the United Nations declared 2019 The Year of Indigenous Languages (IY2019) in order to raise awareness of them, not only to benefit the people who speak these languages, but also for others to appreciate the important contribution they make to our world’s rich cultural diversity.