Olga Balabkina, Vice-Chairman of the Government of Yakutia, on February 4 held a working meeting on the preparation and holding of the international conference Preservation of World Languages and Development of Language Diversity in Cyberspace: Context, Policy, Practice in collaboration with UNESCO.
The meeting was attended by Minister of Culture and Spiritual Development of the Republic Yuri Kupriyanov and First Deputy Minister for External Relations and Peoples’ Affairs of the RS (Y) Vladimir Vasiliev.
Olga Balabkina reported that an international conference under the auspices of UNESCO will be held in the capital of the republic on July 1-5. The conference will be attended by political and public figures, diplomats, ethnolinguists, sociolinguists, experts in the field of formation and analysis of national and international language policies, representatives of the authorities in the field of education, science, culture, communication and information from 70 countries of the world.
“The conference is timed to the International Year of Indigenous Peoples, declared by the United Nations in 2019. The conference participants will discuss issues of preserving the languages and cultures of indigenous peoples, will touch on various aspects of language policy in the fields of education, culture, science, modern communications," noted Olga Balabkina.
The choice of the venue for the international conference is due to the fact that Yakutia is a unique region in the world where active work is being done to preserve, support and develop the languages of the indigenous minorities of the North. Today, Yakutia makes a great contribution to strengthening Russia's authority in the world community as an exemplary country in terms of preserving national languages and cultures. The republic has extensive experience in organizing and conducting significant international events. The capital of the republic hosted the language policy international forum three times - in 2008, 2011 and 2014.
The First Deputy Minister for External Relations and Affairs of the Peoples of the RS (Y), Vladimir Vasiliev, reported that the preliminary program of the international conference is ready and includes exhibitions, thematic sections, and cultural events.
Note that in January 2019, Evgeny Kuzmin, Chairman of the Russian Committee of the UNESCO Information for All Program, visited Yakutsk on a working visit to discuss organizational matters. On January 21, a working meeting was held between the Deputy Chairman of the Government of Yakutia, Olga Balabkina, and Gavril Kirillin, Minister for External Relations and Peoples' Affairs of Yakutia, with Evgeny Kuzmin.
During that meeting, Evgeny Kuzmin praised the system work on supporting the development of the state and official languages, operating on the territory of the republic. “Your experience in preserving the cultural traditions of northern peoples is of great interest in the world community. That is why we decided to organize and hold an international conference on the preservation of the world's indigenous languages in your region,” then noted Evgeny Kuzmin.
Following the international conference, experts will prepare a series of recommendations on the preservation and development of the world's indigenous peoples, which will be used in research on the formation and implementation of national and international language policies.