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Report of the international expert group meeting on indigenous ...

Report of the international expert group meeting on indigenous ...

E/C.19/2008/3 12

E/C.19/2008/3 12 agencies such as UNESCO, and equip ong>theong>mselves to use ong>theong>m to protect and promote ong>theong>ir language and cultural rights; (d) Cooperate with oong>theong>r indigenous peoples on language matters, exchanging experiences and good examples; (e) Promote awareness among speakers ong>ofong> indigenous languages ong>ofong> ong>theong> impending loss and inherent value ong>ofong> ong>theong>ir languages in ong>theong> face ong>ofong> assimilation policies and educational institutions which have imposed hegemonic ideologies that devalue indigenous languages. Oong>theong>r recommendations 44. The following actions are recommended: (a) States, indigenous peoples and ong>internationalong> organizations should collaborate in translating ong>theong> United Nations Declaration on ong>theong> Rights ong>ofong> Indigenous Peoples into indigenous languages and disseminate ong>theong>se widely; (b) Funding agencies and donors should support revitalization programmes that endeavour to produce new speakers — not just documenting or archiving — for ong>theong> most critically endangered languages, whose most urgent need is ong>theong> immediate development ong>ofong> new fluent speakers to carry forward ong>theong> words and knowledge ong>ofong> ong>theong> ageing elders; (c) States, United Nations agencies, donors, research institutions, religious organizations, ong>theong> media and NGOs should ensure ong>theong> proper and correct identification ong>ofong> ong>theong> names ong>ofong> indigenous languages; (d) Increasing ong>theong> number ong>ofong> fluent speakers should be ong>theong> main objective ong>ofong> ong>theong>se language revitalization efforts, while indigenous languages that are not necessarily under immediate threat ong>ofong> extinction face different challenges, such as promotion and to be used in full equality with oong>theong>r national ong>ofong>ficial languages. Moreover, efforts ong>ofong> individual ong>expertong>s to salvage and promote indigenous languages will not be effective unless ong>theong> concerned community desires such efforts and takes action in that direction. Indigenous peoples ong>theong>mselves must claim ownership ong>ofong> ong>theong>ir languages and direct revitalization efforts ong>ofong> ong>theong>ir languages. Preliminary ideas regarding a world conference on linguistic diversity, indigenous languages, identity and education 45. The ong>meetingong> agreed that conditions are right for a world conference on linguistic diversity, indigenous languages, identity and education. United Nations Member States have recognized ong>theong> importance ong>ofong> linguistic diversity by proclaiming 2008 as ong>theong> International Year ong>ofong> Languages, ong>theong> United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Peoples was recently adopted, and UNESCO has carried out a preliminary study on ong>theong> technical and judicial aspects ong>ofong> a possible ong>internationalong> normative instrument for ong>theong> protection ong>ofong> indigenous and endangered languages. 46. Although conditions for such a world conference are relatively positive, a number ong>ofong> issues need to be resolved. It is essential that this world conference include ong>theong> widest possible participation ong>ofong> indigenous representatives, and that ong>theong>y be actively involved in all aspects ong>ofong> ong>theong> conference, from its preparations, right 08-21356

08-21356 through ong>theong> drafting ong>ofong> its documents and implementing its outcomes. It is equally important that this world conference be a United Nations world conference, ensuring ong>theong> active participation and commitment ong>ofong> Member States, thus increasing its impact on indigenous languages. 47. The conference might be organized through ong>theong> close cooperation ong>ofong> ong>theong> Permanent Forum and UNESCO and oong>theong>r relevant United Nations agencies. Its preparation would require regional preparatory ong>meetingong>s ong>ofong> ong>expertong>s and ong>theong> active use ong>ofong> oong>theong>r ong>internationalong> conferences for awareness-raising and input into ong>theong> conference. 48. Finally, for this world conference to become a reality, it is essential to ensure ong>theong> political and financial commitment ong>ofong> a Member State or States to champion ong>theong> idea ong>ofong> ong>theong> conference, while funding may include inter-agency efforts, in addition to voluntary funding from States, indigenous peoples’ organizations, foundations and oong>theong>rs. 49. The agenda ong>ofong> ong>theong> conference could include ong>theong> following subjects: constitutional and oong>theong>r juridical protection ong>ofong> indigenous languages; democratic policies in ong>theong> promotion ong>ofong> indigenous languages; actions by indigenous peoples for ong>theong> protection and promotion ong>ofong> indigenous languages; and promotion ong>ofong> indigenous languages in ong>theong> media. E/C.19/2008/3 13

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