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Initiative B@bel

Giving access to information by promoting linguistic and cultural diversity in Cyberspace
Initiative B@bel

Initiative B@bel uses Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to support linguistic and cultural diversity on the Internet, and to protect and preserve languages in danger of disappearance.
It promotes multilingualism on the Internet in order to make access to its contents and services more equitable for users worldwide. Today, more than 90% of content on the Internet exists in only 12 languages, so many users of the 6 000 languages in the world are overlooked by this important communication medium. The “Initiative” puts emphasis on the need of completing all the steps to ensure the presence of a language in the digital world. Synergy and cooperation with other institutions and initiatives is capital to achieve longer term results regarding multilingualism in the cyberspace.

Since access to information and knowledge is key to human development and quality of life, Initiative B@bel places special emphasis on the needs of developing and transition countries. By supporting their information needs and encouraging their participation in the digital environment we can contribute to societal progress.

By reducing linguistic barriers to information, Initiative B@bel is contributing to bridging the digital divide as well as advancing UNESCO’s efforts to foster knowledge societies, promote universal information access, and achieve education for all.