Archive for the ‘United Nations’ Category

Report to the Human Rights council on declining minority languages

11 May 2013

In a report by Rita Izsak to the United Nations Human Rights Council in April, she cited various historical and other factors that are causing a decline in minority languages.

International laws covering the rights to speak a minority language that she cited include:

Models she cited for standards are the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.

She also noted that 19 out of approximately 20 languages spoken in Cambodia are endangered. (The Ethnologue gives 24 languages, of which 14 are endangered or dying.)

Read more on her report in “UN expert warns of decline in minority languages.”

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Ban’s opening remarks at 10th session of UNPFII

16 May 2011

The Tenth Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues opened today in New York, NY.

Along with the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous Peoples, the UNPFII is an organization mandated to deal with indigenous people’s issues. The UNPFII has been holding sessions since 2002, providing advice to the UN Economic and Social Council on indigenous issues, including culture.

At the opening of the forum today, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke. Among his comments, he stressed the importance of elders, saying:

“There is an indigenous saying that, ‘When an elder dies, it is like a light burning out.’ This is a beautiful expression of respect for the wisdom of age.  But it could also be a warning. We could just as easily say that, ‘When an indigenous custom dies, it is like a light burning out.'”

Read the entire speech at “Permanent Forum Can Play Dynamic Role in Changing Deplorable Situation of Indigenous People, Secretary-General Says at Opening of Session” on the UN website.