UNESCO ADOPTED AN ACTION PLAN FOR THE ENDAGERED LANGUAGES.
Paris, 7 april 2003 – Some seventy international experts, representatives of speech communities and NGOs gathered at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris in March 2003 to elaborate an Action Plan in order to suggest strategies and possibilities for mobilizing international awareness and co-operation and concrete proposals for UNESCO activities in the field of safeguarding endangered languages in the near future.
In fact, according to UNESCO:
– over 50% of the world’s 6000 languages are endangered
– 96% of the world’s 6000 languages are spoken by 4% of the world’s population
– 90% of the world’s languages are not represented on the Internet
– 1 language is disappearing on average every two weeks
The document was adopted after a 3 days debate at the UNESCO headquarters, focused in particular on the definition of criteria to establish the level of endagerment of a language and on ways and means to reach the outside world which seems unaware or indifferent to the destiny of languages, followed by several weeks of online discussions among the members of a restricted working group.
The ”Esperanto” Radical Association Treasurer, Lapo Orlandi, took part to the meeting and his written paper was made available to the attendants of the meeting by UNESCO itself.
The ERA representative underlined during its interventions the key concepts of the paper: the use of english as the global language is the first worldwide responsible for the most extraordinary linguistic extinction of the whole world history, no strategy can have any success unless a democratic alternative , such as esperanto, is individuated and effectively promoted.
The ERA representative also reminded that, when the issue of linguistic extinction is connected to the topic of globalisation the outside world appears to be very interested and many political environments are disposed to discuss it and adopt decisions, as it has been the case in the very last months, thanks to the ERA involvment, for the European Green Congress, the European Social Forum or the Italian Minister of Education.
The Adopted Action Plan reflects, in particular, those points of view recalling ”the current threat to linguistic diversity posed by the globalization of communication and the tendency to use a single language as the global language” and asking to the General Director to ”coordinate among policy makers, experts and NGOs in order to explore the correlation between globalisation and language extinction and find systematic solutions on a global scale” .
The adopted Action Plan will probably be discussed in the next General Conference.[addsig]