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Brunei Gallery SOAS

Thornhaugh Street

London

WC1H 0XG

United Kingdom

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The United Nations has proclaimed 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages.

This is designed to “raise global attention on the critical risks confronting indigenous languages and its significance for sustainable development, reconciliation, good governance and peace building”

Language is a crucial part of a person’s identity and plays a fundamental role in the transmission of culture and traditions. Linguistic diversity is closely related to biodiversity and languages, like other threatened species, are disappearing at a dangerous rate: 40% of the over 7000 languages are in danger of extinction, thus contributing to the general threat to humanity’s survival.

Of the languages in danger, most are indigenous languages. Indigenous languages are particularly vulnerable and they must therefore constitute a priority in our action to protect this vital constituent of our planet’s survival.

UNA Westminster, Survival International and the Foundation for Endangered Languages, three organisations with a rich record of work on UN, indigenous, and language endangerment issues, have come together to contribute to the promotion of the spirit and the principles of this International Year.

The meeting will review the challenges facing isolated communities determined to preserve their culture, and through the work of the United Nations and its agencies, whose ideals UNA has been promoting for several decades, the tremendous grassroots action that Survival International has been undertaking with indigenous communities, the tireless efforts deployed by FEL to stop language extinction, a realistic picture of the status of today’s indigenous languages will be presented.

The screening of films depicting various aspects of indigenous languages realities will commence at 1pm, with refreshments provided throughout the event.

From 2pm, three sessions will cover different issues and will outline ongoing work by the international community, focusing on practical initiatives and achievements by various organisations and actors.

Refreshments will be provided.

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Brunei Gallery SOAS

Thornhaugh Street

London

WC1H 0XG

United Kingdom

View Map

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