Working Session: 2022-2032 International Decade of Indigenous Languages: Pacific Languages
Organizers: Pefi Kingi, Hūfanga Prof 'Ōkusitino Māhina, and Suzanna Tiapula
Warm Pacific Greetings. 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 of particular concern, where more than one hundred native languages are vulnerable or endangered. Indigenous Pacific communities have complex systems of knowledge and communication that require support to protect, preserve, retain and maintain their languages, customs and values which have endured to date. ‘Indigenous languages add to the rich tapestry of global cultural and linguistic diversity. Other than waving the flags for our languages, we shall be contributing to the objectives outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development’ (UNESCO, 2019). Pacific languages are pivotal in human rights protection, good governance, peace building, reconciliation, sustainable development and all other areas of our livelihoods.
We support the International Decade of Indigenous Languages and endorse the promotion of Pacific languages in the following 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. Ma’alo/Thank you to our Activists/Leaders of Pacific Languages who offered abstracts and drafts for this Informal Session in 2019 when we paid due respect to the International Year of Indigenous Languages; and most especially going forward as, ‘The United Nations has declared an International Decade of Indigenous Languages, to begin in 2022. This acknowledges the need for further work to protect Indigenous languages worldwide.’ UNESCO 28.02.2020
For more information, please contact Pefi Kingi, NAVA Niue Australians Vagahau Association <firstname.lastname@example.org> and Suzanna Tiapula <email@example.com>