Languages play an essential role in the daily lives of all peoples. Through languages, people not only embed their history, traditions, memory, unique modes of thinking and expression, but more importantly construct their future. Languages are pivotal in the areas of peace building, human rights enhancement, education, research, innovation, protection of the environment, and sustainable development. However, despite their value, languages, especial indigenous languages, are continuing to disappear at an alarming rate due to a variety of factors.
In response to the issue, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution on ‘Rights of Indigenous Peoples’, proclaiming 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is the lead UN agency for the year.
Governments, intergovernmental organizations, and entities of civil society are encouraged to organize activities to support the international year in accordance with the Action Plan proposed and to use the logo of the year to promote its visibility.