Kamis, 22 Februari 2024|Jakarta, Indonesia

Indonesian as the Official Language of the UNESCO General Conference

Shakeel

Rabu, 22 November 2023 - 18:51 WIB

Indonesia Language Official UNESCO
Indonesia Language Official UNESCO
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Thepresidentpost.id - Paris, France – Indonesian has successfully been designated as the official language of the UNESCO General Conference. This decision was marked by the adoption of Resolution 42 C/28 by consensus during the Plenary Session of the 42nd UNESCO General Conference (20/11) at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France. Indonesian becomes the 10th language recognized as an official language of the UNESCO General Conference, alongside the six official languages of the United Nations (English, Arabic, Mandarin, French, Spanish, Russian), as well as Hindi, Italian, and Portuguese. With this designation, Indonesian can be used as the working language, and documents of the General Conference can be translated into Indonesian.

Ambassador Mohamad Oemar, the Permanent Representative of Indonesia to UNESCO, presented the Indonesian proposal. "Indonesian has been a unifying force since the pre-independence period, especially through the Youth Pledge in 1928. With its role as a connector among diverse ethnic groups in Indonesia, Indonesian, with more than 275 million speakers, has also reached the global stage, with the inclusion of Indonesian language curricula in 52 countries with at least 150,000 foreign speakers," said Ambassador Oemar.

Furthermore, Ambassador Oemar emphasised that raising awareness of the Indonesian language is part of Indonesia's global efforts to enhance interconnectivity among nations, strengthen cooperation with UNESCO, and contribute to Indonesia's commitment to the development of culture at the international level.

In his concluding remarks, Ambassador Oemar affirmed that the recognition of Indonesian as the official language of the UNESCO General Conference will have a positive impact on peace, harmony, and the achievement of sustainable development goals nationally and globally.

The proposal to make Indonesian the official language of the UNESCO General Assembly originated from discussions between the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to France and the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia to UNESCO in January 2023, recognizing the potential of the Indonesian language to become the official language of the UNESCO General Assembly. This potential was then conveyed to the Head of the Language Development and Training Agency of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology (Kemdikbudristek).

Subsequently, on February 7, 2023, a meeting was held between the Deputy Permanent Representative to UNESCO, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology to discuss the opportunities and strategies for proposing Indonesian as the official language of the UNESCO General Assembly, followed by the preparation of the proposal document to UNESCO.

Then, in March 2023, the Indonesian Representative in Paris submitted the nomination proposal for the Indonesian language to the UNESCO Secretariat to be included in the agenda of the UNESCO Executive Board meeting on May 10-24, 2023, which ultimately approved the Indonesian Government's proposal to be included in the agenda of the 42nd UNESCO General Assembly on November 7-22, 2023.

Moving to the UNESCO General Assembly, the Indonesian delegation consisting of the Head of the Language Development and Training Agency, the Deputy Permanent Representative to UNESCO, and the Head of the Language Strengthening and Empowerment Center presented their proposal before the Legal Committee on November 8, 2023, at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. Without objections from committee members, the Legal Committee approved the Indonesian Government's proposal.

The Indonesian Government's effort to propose Indonesian as the official language of the UNESCO General Conference is one of the implementations of the mandate of Article 44 Paragraph (1) of Law Number 24 of 2009 concerning the National Flag, Language, State Symbol, and National Anthem, which states, "The Government enhances the function of the Indonesian language as an international language gradually, systematically, and sustainably." This proposal is also a de jure effort to grant Indonesian the status of an official language in an international institution after the Indonesian Government has built pockets of Indonesian language speakers in 52 countries.

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