UNAMID in West Darfur Celebrates International Mother Language Day
On 21 February 2017, UNAMID in El Geneina, West Darfur, joined the world in commemorating International Mother Language Day.
The day has been observed annually since 2000 following its proclamation by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999. On 16 May 2007 the United Nations General Assembly further called on Member States "to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world."
International Mother Language Day aims to promote linguistic and cultural diversity as well as multilingualism. It also seeks to promote unity in diversity and international understanding, through multilingualism and multiculturalism. The theme for 2017 is, “Towards Sustainable Futures through Multilingual Education,” and it advocates for the use of mother languages in formal education.
In West Darfur, the day was marked with a dinner followed by cultural performances in various languages from different countries.
Speaking at the commemoration, Oumar Kane, Head of Office, UNAMID Sector West emphasized the importance of respect for cultural and linguistic diversity as this contributes towards promoting a peaceful coexistence.
“There is need for respect of diversity of language, culture and religion, which is important for peace building,” he said, adding that more than 6,500 languages are spoken throughout the world.
Brigadier-General Asrat Amad, Military Commander, Sector West, stressed the importance of the day, which contributes to fostering unity among various nations as it seeks to promote different languages and cultures.
According to UNESCO, languages are powerful instruments of preserving and developing people’s tangible and intangible heritage.