Sunday, Apr 21 2019 | Time 16:08 Hrs(IST)
image
  • SL serial blasts: 185 people killed, more than 500 injured
  • Delhi Capitals to face Smith's led Rajasthan Royals
  • Punjab gears up for LS polls; dates for filing nominations announced
  • Do or die situation for Akhilesh, Shivpal in 3rd phase
  • TMC demands removal of Spl Poll Observer Ajay Nayak; 350 central forces to be deployed for 3rd phase voting
  • TMC demands removal of Spl Poll Observer Ajay Nayak; 350 central forces to be deployed for 3rd phase voting
  • Punjab gears up for LS polls; dates for filing nominations announced
  • Gold, foreign cigarettes worth Rs 36 lakh seized at airport, one arrested
  • Delhi Capitals to face Smith's led Rajasthan Royals
  • Delhi Capitals to face Smith's led Rajasthan Royals
  • Delhi Capitals to face Smith's led Rajasthan Royals
  • India strongly condemns serial blasts in Sri Lanka
  • PM Modi to hold public meet in Nashik
  • PM Modi to hold public meet in Nashik
  • Death toll in Sunday's Sri Lanka explosions rises to 185, almost 500 injured
Features


Int'l year kicks off to protect indigenous languages

Int'l year kicks off to protect indigenous languages
UNDESA Social’s expert Mirian Masaquiza

United Nations, Feb 3 (UNI) Languages play a crucial role in our daily lives.

They also make up our unique cultural identities.

Yet, of the about 6,700 languages spoken in the world today, 40 percent are at risk of disappearing. Most of them are indigenous languages. And when a language dies, it can mean the end of a community’s values and traditions. This is where the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages comes in.

UN DESA Voice spoke with Mirian Masaquiza in UN DESA’s Division for Inclusive Social Development (DISD), about the year and its mission to protect and preserve the world’s indigenous languages.

* How many indigenous languages are out there and how can we keep track of them?

“At present, 96 per cent of the world’s approximately 6,700 languages are spoken by only 3 per cent of the world’s population. The vast majority of the languages that are under threat are indigenous languages, and most of them would disappear.

States are the ones called to keep track on indigenous languages by recognizing the linguistic rights of indigenous peoples and developing language policies to promote and protect indigenous languages. Also, States should ensure that indigenous languages are adequately reflected in censuses and other data collection tools, such as questionnaires, surveys and participatory assessments.”

* The UN has declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages. What makes them so important?

“The 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages is very important as it will inspire speakers of indigenous languages to use it in a daily life with pride. Member States and other stakeholders will understand the need to include indigenous languages into specific programmes and activities to promote and protect them. Most importantly, the world will see a revival of a movement that is fighting for the right to use the language of their ancestors.

This international year will continue to raise key issues and concerns associated with indigenous languages on an ad hoc basis. Further, it will be an opportunity to compile and share good practices and tools for language revitalisation, considering the different needs based on the different situations of indigenous languages.”

* What is threatening the indigenous languages?

“I think that globalisation, non-recognition of indigenous peoples and the rise of a small number of culturally dominant languages has led to a situation in which, some indigenous peoples do no longer use their indigenous language or no longer transmit it from parents to their children.

We as human beings should care about indigenous languages in the same way as we should care about the loss of the world’s variety of plants and animals, its biodiversity.”

* What can we do to protect them?

“Article 13 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples states that indigenous peoples have the right to revitalise, use, develop and transmit to future generations their languages, oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems and literatures and that States shall take effective measures to ensure that this right is protected.

For instance, indigenous peoples should highlight that indigenous languages are intrinsically valuable to their speakers and their cultures, not only as methods of communication but also as repositories of traditional knowledge that are important for understanding and sustaining biological diversity and providing important contributions to sustainable development. Further, promote the cognitive benefits of multilingual and bilingual speakers. These benefits are enjoyed not only by indigenous communities but also by all of society.

States should support the use of indigenous languages by developing incentives for speaking and disseminating indigenous languages beyond schools and language revitalization centres.

The United Nations system should intensify efforts to promote indigenous language preservation and revitalisation, as well as education in the indigenous mother tongue.”

UNi SNU 1659

More News
Ugandan 'Blue Helmets' support UN efforts to bring peace to Somalia

Ugandan 'Blue Helmets' support UN efforts to bring peace to Somalia

19 Apr 2019 | 1:49 PM

United Nations, Apr 19 (UNI) A contingent of 530 Ugandan “Blue Helmets” (63 women, 467 men) is playing a crucial role in the United Nations’ efforts to help bring peace and stability to Somalia.

see more..
B'desh: Burned to death for reporting sexual harassment

B'desh: Burned to death for reporting sexual harassment

18 Apr 2019 | 1:21 PM

Dhaka, Apr 18 (UNI) Nusrat Jahan Rafi was doused with kerosene and set on fire at her school in Bangladesh.

see more..
Eves Power: Women voters outnumber men in south and north east

Eves Power: Women voters outnumber men in south and north east

15 Apr 2019 | 3:29 PM

By Sonam Agrawal, New Delhi, Apr 15 (UNI) Indian women today hold high positions in every walk of life. In terms of special achievements, from Sucheta Kripalini in UP in 1963 to 1967 to Anandiben Patel in Gujarat in 2014, there have been 15 women Chief Ministers. The leaders such as Sushma Swaraj and Nirmala Sitharaman have also become country’s first women External Affairs and Defence Ministers respectively.

see more..
Dance of Democracy: Apathy common phenomenon in youngsters but some do care

Dance of Democracy: Apathy common phenomenon in youngsters but some do care

12 Apr 2019 | 11:57 AM

By Rita Sachdeva
New Delhi, Apr 12 (UNI) As the festival of democracy takes off, apathy and 'don't care' attitude looks like a common phenomenon in majority of youngsters although a substantial number of them seemed to be very passionate about choosing the right leadership for the country.

see more..
Women live in fear of refusing partner’s sexual demands

Women live in fear of refusing partner’s sexual demands

11 Apr 2019 | 4:02 PM

United Nations, Apr 11 (UNI) More than four in 10 women in 51 countries surveyed, feel they have no choice but to agree to their partner’s sexual demands, the UN sexual and reproductive health agency, UNFPA said, noting that they are also unable to make basic decisions about getting pregnant and accessing health care for themselves.

see more..
image