UNESCO and Talkmate strengthen their partnership on linguistic diversity for global citizenship and sustainable development

23 February 2018

UNESCO and Talkmate announce the strengthening of their partnership on the development of the UNESCO World Atlas of Languages by expanding joint efforts for the organization of the 2019 Year of Indigenous Languages and the promotion of global citizenship through linguistic diversity and multilingualism.

Over 50% of some 6,700 languages spoken nowadays are estimated to be in danger of totally disappearing or are severally under-resourced with limited access to appropriate language tools and resources. In particular, languages spoken by indigenous peoples represent a huge percent of these endangered languages. This situation embodies a challenge not only to the preservation of their cultural identity and traditions sharing, but also demonstrates the impossibility to access the online community in their respective languages. This threat to access a multilingual cyberspace should be considered as a matter of imperative urgency since only 5% of the world´s languages are currently presented in cyberspace.

The joint partnership between UNESCO and Talkmate on the World Atlas of Languages aims at developing an innovative and scalable ICT-supported platform to access data on linguistic diversity around the world. This partnership is not only contribute to the promotion of languages learning via the cyberspace, but also encouraging the collaboration of stakeholders to raise awareness on the importance of multilingualism by the effective application of ICTs, which are vital educational and communicational tools that help communities and organizations to access education, share information, provide services and goods, to which citizens are entitled in the context of open, pluralistic, participatory, sustainable and inclusive knowledge societies. 

In a long-term the partnership will contribute to fulfil the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a whole, to ensure a multilingual cyberspace by the effective application of ICTs, which are vital educational and communicational tools that help communities and organizations to access education, share information, provide services and goods, to which citizens are entitled in the context of open, pluralistic, participatory, sustainable and inclusive knowledge societies. 

UNESCO, together with Talkmate, is committed to safeguard the world´s diverse linguistic, cultural and documentary heritage. Therefore, the collaboration between the two partners will be extended also to support the International Indigenous Year 2019, which UNESCO, as the UN leading Agency, is organizing.

An official announcement of the extended and renewed partnership agreement was made during the ceremony that took place on 23 February 2018 at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.