Mother Language in the Spotlight

A press conference to mark International Mother Language Day was held on February 20, 2024.

The mother language is an important universal value, the basis of a person’s national self-identification, and the foundation of civilization. The International Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022–2032) was proclaimed to draw attention to the catastrophic loss of indigenous languages and the need to preserve, revive, promote, and take emergency measures for their protection at the national and international levels.

How can we integrate the native languages of indigenous peoples into modern society and culture? How can digital technologies help preserve linguistic heritage? These and other issues were discussed at the press conference held at the Russia Today news agency by the Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs.

Multilingualism has always been a matter of top priority for Russia. Back in Soviet times, our country helped to establish national press agencies in countries that gained independence in the 20th century. Russia was among the first to adopt the UNESCO Recommendation on the Promotion and Use of Multilingualism and Universal Access to Cyberspace. We are significantly contributing to the implementation of the International Decade of Indigenous Languages, and the Russian committee is actively engaged in the Information for All program.
Tatiana Dovgalenko

It was attended by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Delegate of the Russian Federation to UNESCO Rinat Alyautdinov, Secretary General of the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO Tatiana Dovgalenko, and the heads of Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs.

During the conference, Rinat Alyautdinov noted, “Russia is a multinational and multilingual country where more than 190 peoples, including indigenous and autochthonous peoples, speaking different languages, live side by side in a unified environment. Respect for native languages, history, and culture is an important value of Russian society and Russia’s calling card in the international arena.”