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General Assembly: High-level plenary meeting for the global launch of the International Year of Indigenous Languages
1 Feb 2019 -  The event marks the beginning of the International Year of Indigenous Languages and will offer an opportunity for Member States and relevant stakeholders to exchange views and best practices about the preservation, promotion and revitalization of indigenous languages.
- Traditional ceremony
- Opening segment
- Plenary segment
Indigenous languages represent complex systems of knowledge developed and accumulated over thousands of years. Each indigenous language represents a unique system and framework for understanding the world in its ecological, economic or sociocultural importance. Local languages are cultural treasure to communicate, share knowledge and promote local cultural specificities, customs and values.
The loss of an indigenous language can therefore mean the loss of vital knowledge, which could be harnessed for human improvement and sustainable development. Consequently, the disappearance of a language implies a considerable negative impact upon the indigenous culture concerned, as well as on global cultural diversity. Unique ways of knowing and experiencing the world may disappear forever. The issues around indigenous languages point to a significant cross-cutting pattern of disadvantages affecting a wide range of areas, including politics, law and justice, health, cultural practices and identities, the biosphere, access to information and communications.
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