Ugra Global Expert Meeting on Multilingualism in Cyberspace

Project at a glance

Dates and Place

05 - 07 July 2015, Khanty-Mansiysk, Russian Federation


Russian Committee of UNESCO "Information for All" program

Project details

Today more and more people around the world realize that linguistic diversity should be preserved, maintained and developed. We witness a growing interest in this topic, which is increasingly discussed at a high political level. In July 2015, Khanty-Mansiysk welcomed participants of the Ugra Global Expert Meeting on Multilingualism in Cyberspace, held within the Seventh International IT Forum, it was a great success. It was organized with the support of the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO and the Maaya - World Network for Linguistic Diversity.

Cultural diversity, which has always been a source of development, rapidly declines due to globalization and urbanization. What lies at the heart of cultural diversity is the diversity of languages. Languages have become an instrument of political and economic domination; languages with few speakers weaken and are increasingly marginalized. This issue is also topical today for major European languages, languages of the great world literature and science - French, German, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Italian. They are used more and more seldom in science, politics, business communication, even in education, and linger in the shadow of English. This issue inevitably raises serious concerns. 

The meeting’s key objectives were:

  • Developing and advancing UNESCO and Russian policies in the field of language preservation and linguistic and cultural diversity development in cyberspace;
  • Developing and promoting the outcomes of the Third International Conference “Linguistic and Cultural Diversity in Cyberspace” (Yakutsk, 2014) and the International Expert Meeting on Improving Access to Multilingual Cyberspace (Paris, UNESCO Headquarters, 2014).

Throughout its history mankind saw some languages emerging and others dying. But the process of language extinction has recently become rampant, a considerable number of languages are endangered. According to estimates, by the end of the 21st century, about 90% of languages may disappear. It is clear that serious measures should be taken at both national and international level to preserve linguistic and cultural diversity.

The Khanty-Mansiysk expert meeting on language issues has become a central event of the Seventh International IT-Forum and also Russia’s new contribution to the implementation of the “Information for All” Programme – UNESCO’s major intergovernmental programme in the field of communication and information. It is the only programme in the world to imply comprehensive and holistic approaches to humanitarian issues crucial for the future of the information society – information accessibility, information preservation, media and information literacy, information ethics, information for development, preservation of languages and their development in cyberspace. A total of 42 reports were presented.

All participants to the meeting noted the high organizational level of this content rich event and expressed gratitude to its organizers – the Government of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug – Ugra, the Russian UNESCO IFAP Committee, the Interregional Library Cooperation Centre, the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO, UNESCO Secretariat and the Maaya â€“ World Network for Linguistic and Cultural Diversity. A working group was formed to prepare the Final Document of the Global Expert Meeting, which included Adama SamassĂ©kou, Daniel Pimienta, Tjeerd de Graaf, Viola Krebs, Alfredo Ronchi, Evgeny Kuzmin, Yury Chyorniy and other experts.

In one of the conference panels, Viola Krebs, Director of ICVolunteers, presented ICV's MigraLingua Program, providing online and offline support to migrants who do not speak the local language in a given country.

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