The initiative to celebrate an International Mother Language Day comes from Bangladesh. It was approved at the General Conference of UNESCO in 1999 and has been observed worldwide since 2000.
UNESCO believes in the importance of cultural and linguistic diversity for sustainable societies.
It is within its mandate for peace that it works to preserve the differences of cultures and languages that promote tolerance and respect for others.
On the occasion of International Mother Language Day, celebrated each year on February 21, UNESCO reaffirms its commitment to linguistic diversity and invites its Member States to celebrate the day in as many languages as possible in order to recall that linguistic diversity and multilingualism are essential for sustainable development.
Linguistic diversity is increasingly threatened as languages disappear. 40% of the inhabitants of the planet do not have access to education in a language they speak or understand.
Nevertheless, there is progress in the area of mother tongue-based multilingual education, with growing awareness of its importance, especially for pre-school children, and more commitment to its development. in public life.
Multilingual and multicultural societies exist through their languages, which transmit and preserve traditional knowledge and cultures in a sustainable way.