UN declares 2019 as ‘International Year of Indigenous Languages'
Source :NewsBharati   Date :27-Dec-2018

Paris, Dec 27: UN declared 2019 as an “International Year of Indigenous Languages” (IYIL2019) in order to raise the awareness about these languages and promoting the importance these languages in World’s rich heritage and cultural diversity.

 An International Year is an important cooperation mechanism dedicated to raising awareness of a particular topic or theme of global interest or concern and mobilizing different players for coordinated action around the world.
 According to the report by the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, that 40 percent of the estimated 6,700 languages spoken around the world was in danger of disappearing. The fact that most of these are indigenous languages puts the cultures and knowledge systems to which they belong at risk.

According to UNESCO, seven thousand Indigenous languages are spoken worldwide, 370 million indigenous people with five thousand different indigenous cultures. 90 countries from the world have indigenous communities, in spite of this, 2680 languages are in danger due to the usage of popular languages.

UNESCO to launch a special website dedicated to the International Year of Indigenous languages (IY2019) which will be commemorated by UNESCO’s members and partners throughout 2019.

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. Indigenous languages add to the rich heritage to global cultural diversity.

 Celebrating IYIL2019 will help 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 Peoples and the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.
 IYIL2019, the initiative by UN and UNESCO promotes key areas like increasing understanding about these languages, reconciliation and international cooperation, creation of favorable conditions for knowledge sharing and dissemination of good practices with regards to indigenous languages, integration of indigenous languages into standard settings, empowerment through capacity building and growth and development through elaboration of new knowledge.

Under this initiative, UN with partners going to conduct different seminars, international conferences with the inclusion of NGOs.


UN in collaboration with United Nations Permanent Forum for indigenous issues and UN Human Rights, Office of the high commissioner will conduct this initiative. UN Human Right office of High Commissioner will be an acting agency in expert mechanism on the Rights of indigenous people and special rapporteur on the Rights of indigenous people.


The partners of UN in this initiative are UNDPI, WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization), FAO and UN Information Centre.


Governmental partners of UN in this are Australia, Ecuador, Estonia, France, Gambia, Saudi Arabia and Bolivia.