A session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) took place in Geneva between the 6th and 11th of July 2014. Stefano Keller, a member of the Executive of UEA and the chief representative of UEA at the UN in Geneva, noticed that a proposed resolution did not mention the use of mother tongues, which is a precondition of full and adequate participation in the life of any society. Keller called for inclusion of the required phrases.
During the discussion of language rights in relation to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Keller drew attention to the significant reduction in biocultural diversity and the necessity to conserve it for sustainable survival. For that the protection of each language is important, especially for the languages of indigenous peoples, because they contain the knowledge necessary to conserve diversity.
Keller also drew attention to the need to act with respect for the human dignity of each people, so that none of the more powerful force their languages and cultures on the others. He emphasised the fundamental role of the mother tongue in the life of every person and repeated his call to include that in the resolution.
This article is a summary of a report by UEA, Gazetaraj Komunikoj n-ro 546.