Official launch of International Year of Indigenous Languages 2019

The International Year of Indigenous Languages, 2019, a global campaign declared by the United Nations, was launched officially, organizing special programs on 28 January at the UNESCO in Paris and on February 1 at the UN headquarter in New York.

UNESCO is the lead organization of UN for coordinating this year-long celebration. The international year of indigenous languages is being commemorated throughout year under the slogan 'indigenous languages matter for sustainable development, peace building and reconciliation'. Based on the recommendations of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), the special body under ECOSOC to oversee Indigenous Peoples' issues the UN General Assembly had proclaimed the year 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages in 2016. This program is based on the report of the official launching program of the same international campaign.

Indigenous peoples make up at least 5000 distinct peoples with population of 370 to 500 million, living in 90 different countries. Out of 7000 languages spoken in the world, majority, almost 90 percent languages belong to Indigenous Peoples. Of which some 2680 about 40 percent languages are in the verge of extinction. Shockingly, one language is becoming extinct in every two-weeks, ultimately as many as 50 to 90 percent of languages are likely to disappear by the end of the century, unless any measures are taken to access to, and promotion of indigenous languages.

This international year will help increase indigenous language international visibility and recognition. So as to promote and protect indigenous languages and improve the lives of those who speak them. IN order to give more visibility, following the year long program, UN is also planning to launch International Decade of Indigenous Languages, which will together contribute to achieving the objectives set out in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030. Both the international year followed by International Decade of Indigenous Languages, will together help strengthen Indigenous languages and encourage stakeholders to take urgent actions to preserve, revitalize and promote indigenous languages around the world.

With a view to o disseminate information about UN's events' UNESCO also has approved Indigenous Television, Nepal's first and only indigenous community television, as an official media partnership t throughout Year. There are 125 ethnic and caste groups in Nepal, speaking over 123 different languages, almost 90 percent languages belong to indigenous peoples. Of all, some 37 languages being spoken by Indigenous peoples are in the verge of extinction. there has hardly been conducted any scientific study on the status of indigenous languages, how they have been used in practice. In this situation, celebration of Indigenous year of indigenous languages will help policy makers get attention of those languages which are in the verge of extinction in Nepal.

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