Taking stock of the IYIL2019: 78 countries actively promoted indigenous languages
A summary report of activities carried out during the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL2019) has been released by the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), providing an overview of key activities carried out by international, regional, national and local institutions in 78 countries.
The dedicated IYIL2019 website has served as strategic monitoring system for the nearly 900 registered initiatives and targeted events (882) that took place in 78 countries. The events comprise ranged from awareness-raising to capacity-building activities, cultural and academic events, online initiatives, launches of publications, as well as development of technological solutions in hackathons, and gatherings of digital activists.
Furthermore, researchers from 63 countries submitted their work to the Call for Research Papers on indigenous languages issues launched by UNESCO, which increased the number of countries where people were practically involved in the International Year to 94 in total.
A variety of stakeholders were involved in the IYIL2019, with 32% of the activities organized by the governmental sector, in cooperation with international organizations; nearly 40% by the non-governmental sector (of which 12% by indigenous groups and/or representative organizations), and around 27% by academia.
The summary report shows that UNESCO, in cooperation with its field offices, UNDESA and other UN agencies, Member States, the Members of the Steering Committee for the organization of the International Year, and other partners, made significant strides for indigenous languages and the empowerment of their users throughout 2019.
Collaboration and cooperation at different levels lead to the proclamation of an International Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022-2032) by the United Nations General Assembly on 18 December 2019 through its Resolution requesting UNESCO to serve as lead UN agency in collaboration with UNDESA.
Globally the media widely covered the IYIL2019, with at least 4000 articles published in the six languages used by the UN and reaching a large audience around world. A global social media campaign for the promotion of the IYIL2019 was run on the dedicated social media channels.
The path for future activities during the decade will be built on the basis of the results presented in the Summary Report, as well as the conclusions and recommendations identified in the Strategic Outcome Document of the IYIL2019, and the Los Pinos Declaration, that presents the results of the High-Level event for the closing of the International Year that took place on 27-28 February in Mexico City.
The summary report was prepared upon a request of the United Nations General Assembly (Resolutions 73/156 by UNESCO, as lead UN agency for the implementation of the International Year, in cooperation with UNDESA.
The overall coordination of the IYIL2019 was ensured by UNESCO that facilitates the development of knowledge societies that are equitable, inclusive open and participatory. UNESCO promotes respect for cultural and linguistic diversity and universal access to information and knowledge.