The year 2008 has been proclaimed International Year of Languages by the United Nations General Assembly. UNESCO, which has been entrusted with the task of coordinating activities for the Year, is determined to fulfill its role as lead agency.
Message from Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, on the celebration of 2008, International Year of Languages
Mensaje del Director General de la UNESCO con miras a la celebración del Año Internacional de los Idiomas en 2008
More than 50% of the 7,000 languages spoken in the world may disappear. Less than a quarter of those languages are currently used in schools and in cyberspace, and most are used only.
We must act now as a matter of urgency. How? By encouraging and developing language policies that enable each linguistic community to use its first language, or mother tongue, as widely and as often as possible, including in education, while also mastering a national or regional language and an international language. Also by encouraging speakers of a dominant language to master another national or regional language and one or two international languages. Only if multilingualism is fully accepted can all languages find their place in our globalized world.
UNESCO therefore invites governments, United Nations organizations, civil society organizations, educational institutions, professional associations and all other stakeholders to increase their own activities to foster respect for, and the promotion and protection of all languages, particularly endangered languages, in all individual and collective contexts
UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY PROCLAIMS 2008 INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF LANGUAGES TO PROMOTE UNITY IN DIVERSITY, GLOBAL UNDERSTANDING
2008 International Year of Languages at Wikipedia
2008 International Year of Languages at Facebook