10 March 2003 - 12 March 2003


Expert meeting on Safeguarding Endangered Languages

10 March 2003 - 12 March 2003
Expert meeting

UNESCO organized this meeting (co-sponsored by the Netherlands National Commission for UNESCO) in order to define and reinforce its role in safeguarding the world’s endangered languages. Some seventy international experts, representatives of speech communities and NGOs from all over the world took part in this meeting. During the three days of the meeting, the experts:

  1. reviewed, region by region, the existing research programs and related initiatives, as well as best practices for safeguarding and promoting endangered languages;
  2. discussed strategies and possibilities for raising international awareness and promoting international co-operation in this field;
  3. studied the role of UNESCO in safeguarding the world’s endangered languages as compared with that of other organizations (governmental, non-governmental and academic);
  4. suggested concrete proposals for UNESCO activities in the field of safeguarding endangered languages in the near future, to start with the next biennium (2004 - 2005).

The proposals were approved by the participants on the last day of the meeting, as “Recommendations to UNESCO for Action Plans on the Safeguarding of Endangered Languages”.

  • Address by Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO (English)
  • Address by Mounir Bouchenaki, ADG Culture (English)
  • Working document on Language Vitality and Endangerment (English|French)
  • Programme (English)
  • List of participants (English)
  • Recommendations (English|French)

See also: Endangered languages