You are viewing an archived web page, collected at the request of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) using Archive-It. This page was captured on 14:16:38 Jan 27, 2017, and is part of the UNESCO collection. The information on this web page may be out of date. See All versions of this archived page.
Loading media information hide


A Pillar of Cultural Diversity

Alias / Short URL: www.unesco.org/en/languages

A Pillar of Cultural Diversity

Languages, with their complex implications for identity, communication, social integration, education and development, are of strategic importance for people and the planet. Yet, due to globalization processes, they are increasingly under threat, or disappearing altogether. When languages fade, so does the world’s rich tapestry of cultural diversity. Opportunities, traditions, memory, unique modes of thinking and expression – valuable resources for ensuring a better future are also lost.

In this context, it is urgent to take action to promote multilingualism, in other words to encourage the development of coherent regional and national language policies which give the opportunity for an appropriate and harmonious use of languages in a given community and country. Such policies promote measures allowing each speaker community to use its mother tongue in private and public domains of language use and enabling the speakers to learn and use additional languages: local, national and international. Mother-tongue speakers of national or international languages should be encouraged to learn and use other languages of the country and regional and international languages.

  • 28-01-2010
Message from Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO on the occasion of International Mother Language Day
International Mother Language Day: 21 February 2010
UNESCO Headquarters, Paris
  • 21-02-2010 - 
  • 23-02-2010
International Mother Language Day - 21 February
UNESCO Headquarters
  • 20-02-2009 - 
  • 20-02-2009
Video Conference: “Mother tongue: a multi-faceted, changing concept”
Room : G-12- 3/21
  • 21-02-2008 - 
  • 21-02-2008
International Seminar on Literacy of Indigenous Youth and Adults
  • 11-02-2008 - 
  • 13-02-2008
Photos Credits
General Assembly proclaims 2008 International Year of Languages