On January 18, UNESCO published the Yuelu Proclamation on its website following adoption of its draft by representatives of governments, academic institutions, public and private organizations, and speakers of minority and indigenous languages at the 1st World Language Resources Protection Conference, jointly organized by the Chinese government and UNESCO in Changsha, China, in September 2018, which was finalized after the conference by incorporating input and comments from stakeholders, in line with UNESCO procedures.
The Yuelu Proclamation is the first UNESCO document of its kind dedicated to the protection of linguistic diversity, and is also an important supporting document for the “UN International Year of Indigenous Languages 2019”. It calls upon the international community, states, governments and non-governmental organizations, among others, to reach a consensus on the protection and promotion of linguistic diversity in the world. It confirms that protecting linguistic diversity is the cornerstone for building a global community with a shared future, and for promoting equality, mutual learning and understanding, and facilitating exchanges around the world. The document calls on member states to formulate action plans to promote language and cultural diversity, and urges academic and indigenous organizations to provide the resources required to help combat the loss of indigenous languages.
The proclamation is considered to be a landmark document of historic importance that will play a central role in guiding the efforts of countries and regions around the world to protect linguistic resources and diversity.