ERA ONLUS at the Linguistic Diversity World Conference: Our Authority ad hoc
On the 8th-10th of January, ERA Onlus took part in the group meeting between the indigenous language experts at the New York United Nations Headquarters. The meeting was held during the UNPFII (United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues), an organism set up by the United Nations in 2000. Among the other members were delegates of the indigenous community, especially North and South America, some of which were represented by National goverments, some experts and the main Unite nations agencies: UNESCO, UNICEF, FAO, UNDP and IFAP.
During his speech, Lapo Orlando, the vice-secretary of ERA ONLUS, reminded that the international community does not have the tools to ratify the States and Agencies which violate the policies of conventions and internaitonal treaties that are meant to guarantee essential linguistic rights. He the suggested that the authority of the International Authority’s constitution against linguistic democracy should be drafted based on the International Penal Tribunal, in order to defend linguistic rights as Essential Human Rights, and that the "linguistic genocide," or, in other words, the deliberate destruction of a community’s linguistic heritage of a community, ought to be considered a crime against humanity.
The members discussed drafting a final Report that considers general character and a long series of Reccomendations, which will later be adjusted in the upcoming week. Among the other members participating, ERA spoke about promoting the "necessary measures needed in order to force responsibilty on those who deliberately destroy Indigenous languages. The new expert procedure on the indigenous cultures, implemented within ONU’s Council of Human Rights, should conduct a research that would penalize those who cause the deliberate death of an indigenous language."
Eventually, ERA’s ammendment was fully accepted. The ammendment asked "to set up international tools that would allow the gathering of data and the follow-up on the violation of linguistic rights, cultures and indigenous people, both in the public and private sphere, for example with the setting up an Authority for linguistic rights and choosing a supervisor, or a Commission or an agency that would work towards linguistic democracy."
In conclusion of the three-day participation, those who participated decided to meet within the next 3 years. The idea is to set up a "world conference on linguistic diversity, the indigenous identity, education and languages," followed by preliminary and regional meetings that are meant to deal with the judicial and constitutional protection of indigenous languages, using legal means and democratic policy in order to promote indigenous languages.