The United Nations General Assembly Resolution on ‘Rights of Indigenous Peoples’
The UNGA Resolution (Ref. A/RES/71/178) on ‘Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ has proclaimed 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages.
Article 13. Proclaims the year beginning on 1 January 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages, to draw attention to the critical loss of indigenous languages and the urgent need to preserve, revitalize and promote indigenous languages and to take further urgent steps at the national and international levels, and invites the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to serve as the lead agency for the Year, in collaboration with other relevant agencies, within existing resources.
International Years proclaimed by the UN are an important cooperation mechanism for the promotion of a particular topic or issue, and the mobilization of partners and resources for joint action around the world. The above-mentioned Resolution highlighted the urgent need to preserve, promote and revitalize indigenous languages around the world, and invited UNESCO to serve as the lead UN agency to facilitate the organization of the Year.
The first open consultative meeting (3 May 2017, New York)
UNESCO organized the first open consultative meeting with a variety of stakeholders attending the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues during the 16th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at the UN Headquarters in New York, with a variety of stakeholders attending the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. The objective was to identify partners involving indigenous groups from all regions of the world, and to create a calendar of events that could be integrated into the celebration of the Year. The Plan of Action will be used to explore fundraising and partnership opportunities.
Open consultations by UNESCO and EMRIP (11 July 2017, Geneva)
UNESCO organized the ‘Open Consultations – 2019 Year of Indigenous Languages’ in the context of the 10th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This open consultation invited the chair of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and other indigenous issues-related experts to discuss the Plan of Action for the International Year of Indigenous Languages and to share information about the 2019 Year through their networks at a national level. In particular, it is expected that these meetings will attract the attention of other stakeholders, such as research and education institutions, archive, information and media organizations, and other public and private actors who may contribute toward the organization of the 2019 Year.
Multistakeholder meeting (11-12 December 2017, Paris)
In this regard, UNESCO organized a consultative meeting from 11-12 December 2017 at its Headquarters in Paris, with various stakeholders from universities, indigenous communities, other UN bodies and government organizations, in order to elaborate an Action Plan for the organization of the 2019 Year. The Action Plan will be submitted to the members of the United Nations Forum on Indigenous Issues at its upcoming 17th session in April 2018.