Why Indigenous Languages?
Unique systems of knowledge and understanding of the world
Sustainable development, investment, peace building and reconciliation
Fundamental human rights and freedoms for indigenous peoples
Social inclusiveness, literacy, poverty reduction and international cooperation
Cultural values, diversity and heritage
in the world
About IY 2019
Languages play an important role in the daily lives of all people.
It is through language that we communicate with the world, define our identity, express our history and culture, learn, defend our human rights and participate in all aspects of society, to name but a few. Through language, people preserve their community’s history, customs and traditions, memory, unique modes of thinking, meaning and expression. They also use it to construct their future.
Language is pivotal in the areas of human rights protection, good governance, peace building, reconciliation, and sustainable development.
IY2019 will promote indigenous languages in these five key areas
1. Increasing understanding, reconciliation and international cooperation.
2. Creation of favourable conditions for knowledge-sharing and dissemination of good practices with regards to indigenous languages.
3. Integration of indigenous languages into standard setting.
4. Empowerment through capacity building.
5. Growth and development through elaboration of new knowledge.
in celebrating 2019 as year of the Indigenous Languages
Focus global attention on
- the critical risks confronting indigenous languages
- their significance for sustainable development, reconciliation, good governance and peacebuilding
Target steps that will
- improve quality of life
- enhance international cooperation
- strengthen intercultural dialogue
- reaffirm cultural and linguistic continuity
Increase the capacity
of all stakeholders to take measures that will support, access and promote indigenous languages in accordance with the legitimate rights of the people who speak them
We hope actions taken during IY2019 will generate as much interest and positive change as possible for indigenous languages and those who speak them.
It is with this in mind that we invite you to get involved in making the year a success. The survival and robustness of indigenous languages plays a vital role in the sustainable development of the communities that speak them.
As such, events taking place during IY2019 should take into account the three main themes of the year which encompass both the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Social – Civil society partners