The International Conference “Role of linguistic diversity in building a global community with shared future: protection, access and promotion of language resources” was opened in Changsha, Hunan Province, China today. The Ministry of Education, the State Language Commission, the People’s Government of Hunan Province and the Chinese National Commission for UNESCO, together with UNESCO, and other partners, including the Information for All Programme (IFAP), has organized this event, also as a celebration of the exceptional language diversity characterizing the Asia-Pacific region.
The purpose of the international conference is to review the status and situation of language diversity in the Asia-Pacific and other regions, as well as to explore new avenues for language resource protection, support and promotion worldwide. Undeniably, languages are a core component of human rights, and preventing their endangerment contributes to safeguarding people’s right to education, their capacity to access information and knowledge, and to participate to society. This conference aims at contributing to the long-term objective of building a global community with shared future, and of developing pluralistic, equitable, open and inclusive societies. An outcome summary document will also be elaborated to explain the key issues that were identified during the conference, and to provide policy recommendations in the Asia-Pacific region.
Moreover, this event constitutes an important opportunity for all participants to discuss the celebration of the International Year 2019 in the Asia-Pacific region, and to contribute to the World Atlas of Languages by providing inputs and building institutional partnerships on the development of Chinese Language Atlas. All participants and stakeholders gathered in Changsha are invited to address issues related to language endangerment, vitality and diversity at the international, regional, national, and local levels, since the world’s languages contain invaluable knowledge, history, and cultural heritage that could be harnessed to enrich the tapestry of global cultural diversity. Every possible effort should therefore be made to revitalize and promote them.
The event consists of three main thematic discussion areas:
- Policies and Measures on Language and Cultural Diversity
- Standards and Talent Cultivation for Language Resource Protection
- Development, Application, and Promotion of Language Resources.
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