As the world marks the 20th anniversary of International Mother Language Day on Thursday, UNESCO calls for the recognition and enforcement of rights of the indigenous peoples.
Ms Audrey Azoulay, the Director-General of UNESCO made the call in a message on the website of the UN agency on the occasion to celebrate the Day.
The theme for the Mother Language Day is: “Indigenous languages matter for development, peace building and reconciliation’’ which is marked annually globally on every Feb. 21.
.“For UNESCO, every mother tongue deserves to be known, recognised and given greater prominence in all spheres of public life.
“This is not always the case. Mother tongues do not necessarily have national-language status, official-language status, or status as the language of instruction.
“This situation can lead to the devaluation of a mother tongue and to its ultimate disappearance in the long term.
“On this 20th anniversary of International Mother Language Day, we must remember that all mother tongues count and that they are all essential to building peace and supporting sustainable development.
“A mother tongue is vital to literacy because it facilitates the acquisition of basic reading and writing skills as well as basic numeracy during the first years of schooling.
“These skills provide the foundation for personal development.
“A mother tongue is also a unique expression of creative diversity and identity, and is a source of knowledge and innovation,’’ she said.
According to Azoulay, indigenous peoples have always expressed their desire for education in their own languages as set out in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
“Indigenous peoples number some 370 million and their languages account for the majority of the approximately 7,000 living languages on earth.
“Many indigenous peoples continue to suffer from marginalisation, discrimination and extreme poverty, and are the victims of human rights violation.
“On this International Mother Language Day, I thus invite all UNESCO Member States, partners and education stakeholders to recognise and enforce the rights of indigenous peoples,’’ she said.
The idea of celebrating International Mother Language Day was the initiative of Bangladesh.It was approved at the 1999 UNESCO General Conference and has been observed throughout the world since 2000.
UNESCO believes in the importance of cultural and linguistic diversity for sustainable societies.
It is within its mandate for peace that it works to preserve the differences in cultures and languages that foster tolerance and respect for others.
Multilingual and multicultural societies exist through their languages which transmit and preserve traditional knowledge and cultures in a sustainable way.
Bayelsa APC Writes Oshiomhole Over Adoption Of Direct Mode Of Party Primary
The leadership of the APC in Bayelsa State has officially written to the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole over the...
30 Nigerian Students Get Full U.S. Govt Scholarship
U.S. government had given university scholarship to 30 outstanding Nigerian students to enable them to study in the U.S and...
U.S. Designates Hezbollah Leader Global Terrorist, Offers $7m For Information
The United States Government has designated Salman Salman, a key leader of the Lebanese militant group, Hezbollah, as a “special...
Court Remands 2 Teenagers For Allegedly Defiling 13-year-old Girl
An Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court on Friday ordered that two teenagers, who allegedly defiled their friend’s 13-year-old sister, be remanded...
Kaduna Guber Tribunal Adjourns As el-Rufai Opens Defence
The Justice Ibrahim Bako-led Kaduna State Governorship Election Tribunal has adjourned sitting to next Tuesday, July 23, to enable the...
Cuban Govt. Pardons Over 2,600 Inmates
The Cuban Government has granted pardon to 2,604 inmates, a government release said on Friday. The pardon took effect on...
Police Name Suspect In Japan Animation Studio Fire
Japanese police have named the man suspected of carrying out a deadly arson attack on an animation studio. Shinji Aoba...
FEATURES7 hours ago
Sen Abbo Abducted My Daughter – Father
FEATURES20 hours ago
Edo House Of Commotion And NASS Intervention
COVER STORIES21 hours ago
Laundered Funds Used To Finance Terrorism – PMB
ENTERTAINMENT20 hours ago
Cardi B Fires Back At Lawyer For Blasting Her Courtroom Attire
FEATURES20 hours ago
Exploring Untapped Potential Of African Pharma Markets
COLUMNS20 hours ago
Death Of An Icon
FEATURES20 hours ago
Exclusively Woman : Imperative Of Salvaging 3.6m Nigerian Female Drug Addicts
OPINION20 hours ago
NBC Vs. AIT: The Dilemma Of Media Freedom