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UN General Assembly statement on multilingualism positive

23 May, 2007

Sinn Féin MLA and Culture committee member, Paul Maskey has welcomed a UN General Assembly proclaimation that 2008 will be the International Year of Languages.

Mr Maskey said:

"I believe this is a welcome move in a bid to promote cultural diversity around the globe and especially in Ireland. To promote international understanding I believe the UN have presented an example for all regarding multilingualism. The UN understands the need to use all languages rather than exclusively English.

"This statement has positive implications for the six counties, for example the UN speakers state that linguistic diversity was the foundation of cultural diversity. Without appropriate attention to the issue of preserving linguistic diversity, the harmonious integration of many countries would not be possible.

"2008 shall become the international year of languages and I would encourage all MLA's to promote their own native tongues whether it be Irish, Chinese or Ulster Scots. The Assembly should also take the issue of multi-lingualism seriously also and accomodate members who wish to forward questions to the business committee in Irish. The need for an Irish Language Act, as promised in the St Andrews talks has been strengthened by this international move.

"Sinn Féin takes multilingualism seriously and augers to promote all languages, including Irish, in our day-to-day proceedings in the Assembly." Deireadh

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