Informal Session: 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages: Endangered Indigenous Pacific Languages
Organizers: Pefi Kingi, Hūfanga Dr 'Ōkusitino Māhina, and Ruth Herd
Warm Pacific Greetings in all the languages of the Pacific region. According to UNESCO “half of the 6,000 plus spoken languages today will disappear by the end of the century” if the world fails to take action to preserve endangered languages. The situation in the Pacific region is particular concern, where more than one hundred native languages are vulnerable or endangered. Further, indigenous peoples are often politically and socially marginalized due to their geographic isolation, including their unique histories, cultures, languages and traditions. The indigenous communities often have complex systems of knowledge and communication and they should be supported to preserve, retain and maintain their languages, customs and values which have endured to date. ‘Indigenous languages add to the rich tapestry of global cultural diversity. Without them, the world would be a poorer place.’ Collectively, we shall be supporting their contributions to achieve the objectives outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.
Language is pivotal in the areas of human rights protection, good governance, peace building, reconciliation, and sustainable development. We support the IYIL2019 and endorse promotion of indigenous languages in the following five key areas:  Increasing understanding, reconciliation and international cooperation;  Creation of favourable conditions for knowledge-sharing and dissemination of good practices with regards to indigenous languages; Integration of indigenous languages into standard setting.  Empowerment through capacity building; and  Growth and development through elaboration of new knowledge.
Hūfanga Dr 'Ōkusitino
This proposal is our commitment to do our small bit in 2019 for the International Year of Indigenous Languages and we invite all of you who are interested in doing your bit towards supporting the goals of the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages.
Pefi Kingi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hūfanga Dr 'Ōkusitino Māhina, <email@example.com>
Ruth Herd, <firstname.lastname@example.org>