UN general assembly committee adopts a resolution to proclaim International Decade of Indigenous Languages

Sunday 10 November, 2019   |   Art & Literature

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UN general assembly committee adopts a resolution to proclaim International Decade of Indigenous Languages

In order to draw further global attention to the loss of indigenous languages and call to take urgent action to preserve and promote them, the Third Committee of UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution to proclaim from 2022-2032, as International Decade of Indigenous Languages.

The six-draft resolutions presented by Ecuador and Bolivia in the forty-forth meeting of third committee of UNGA was adopted unanimously on 74th session held on 7th November in the UN headquarter, New York, USA.

The third committee of UNGA is related to social, humanitarian and cultural issues approved six-draft resolutions along with rights of indigenous peoples to rights of refugees, combating glorification of Nazism and enforced disappearances.

The Third Committee of UN General Assembly (UNGA) on its meeting held on November 7 adopted a draft resolution to proclaim from 2022-2032, as International Decade of Indigenous Languages.

“a draft titled, ‘rights of indigenous peoples’ would have the Assembly expand the mandate of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples to support the participation of indigenous peoples in United Nations business and Human-Rights and climate-change processes and continue to observe the International day of Indigenous Peoples on 9 August,” the meeting minute of UNGA third committee in in its eight para reads, “It would also proclaim 2022-2032 as the International Decade of Indigenous languages to draw attention to the loss of Indigenous Languages and the urgent need to preserve and promote them.

The UNGA third committee will reconvene on the meeting on 14th November to take further action on draft resolutions and then officially UNGA will approve the resolution passed by third-committee of UNGA.

In 2016, the UNGA had adopted a resolution proclaiming 2019 as the international Year of Indigenous Languages and had requested the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to serve as the lead organization of the global campaign.  

In order for promoting and protecting indigenous languages, this year long global has been undertaken by UNESCO with the clear guidance from 18-members steering committee members representing from member states, representatives of Indigenous Peoples and their organizations from seven socio-cultural regions, representatives from Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP), Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples among other range of stakeholders, including representatives from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and UNESCO’s Knowledge Societies Division, Communication and Information Sector

The UNESCO secretariat for this global campaign has readied the draft action plans and is planning to table the proposition at UNGA to declare the year 2021-2022 as preparatory year and proclaim the year from 2022-2032, as International Decade of Indigenous Languages.

According to the source at UNESCO, the secretariat for this global campaign has readied the draft action plans and is planning to table the proposition at UNGA to declare the year 2021-2022 as preparatory year and proclaim the year from 2022-2032, as International Decade of Indigenous Languages.

UN statistics puts that as many as 6700 languages are being spoken globally, of which as many as 2680 languages spoken by global indigenous peoples are in the verge of extinction. Shockingly, a language is becoming extinct on every two-weeks, ultimately as many as 90 percent of languages are likely to disappear by the end of the century, unless any measures are taken for promotion of indigenous languages. The ongoing year long-campaign and now forth-coming International Decade of Indigenous Languages is to promote and protect the languages spoken by indigenous peoples globally.


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