Message from Mr Ko´chiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of International Mother Language Day, 21 February 2008

Message from Mr Ko´chiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of International Mother Language Day, 21 February 2008
  • ę UNESCO/Maro Haas

"The ninth celebration of International Mother Language Day on 21 February is of particular importance in this year of 2008, proclaimed International Year of Languages by the United Nations General Assembly, which has entrusted UNESCO with the task of coordinating it.

So this International Mother Language Day is an especially promising opportunity to recall what is at stake. Languages are absolutely vital to the identity of groups and individuals, and their peaceful coexistence. They are a strategic factor in advances towards sustainable development and the harmonious coordination of the global and the local.

Far from being a field reserved for analysis by specialists, languages lie at the heart of all social, economic and cultural life. That is the meaning of the slogan launched by UNESCO for the International Year of Languages: "Languages matter!"".

  • Author(s):Koichiro Matsuura
  • 04-02-2008