International Decade of Languages proposed

There has been some formal discussion of the idea of an International Decade of Languages at UNESCO‘s General Conference this month in Paris. On 8 October, the representative of Austria, Dr. Claudia Schmied, “welcomed” a proposal apparently made by Hungary for the Decade (I have no information at this time on Hungary’s proposal).

Then in a meeting of the Cultural Commission (as part of the Conference), Venezuela, Chile, and Ethiopia joined Hungary in calling for the United Nations General Assembly to declare an “International Decade of Languages and Multilingualism.” According to Dave Pearson of SIL International, this took place in a discussion of a possible standard-setting instrument for protection of indigenous and endangered languages.

Hopefully there will be follow-up to this proposal. In the meantime, if anyone has references to Hungary’s proposal or information on any other proposals, statements, or discussion re the Decade, please let us know!

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