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The Universal Declaration on Linguistic Rights

From the 6th to the 8th of June, 1996, 61 NGOs, 41 PEN Centers and 40 experts in linguistic rights from all over the world met in Barcelona. The convocation of the World Conference on Linguistic Rights (WCLR) was an initiative of the Translations and Linguistic Rights Commission of PEN International and the CIEMEN (Centre Internacional Escarré per a les Minories Ètniques i les Nacions) with the moral and technical support of UNESCO.

The Assembly of Participants at the WCLR approved the Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights (UDLR) in a ceremony held on June 6th at the Auditorium of the University of Barcelona. The delegates of the NGOs, PEN Centers and experts signed the document during the same ceremony, at the end of which they presented the text and the document containing the signatures to Mr. Andri Isaksson, official representative of the UNESCO Director General. In this way, the non-governmental associative sphere has handed over a text to UNESCO that will become the starting point for the work of the governmental experts. All of this would not have been possible without a common working aim which, within UNESCO, was begun by the Linguapax Project.

Two days later, on June 8th, at the La Pedrera Auditorium, NGOs, PEN Centers and experts decided to create a Follow-up Committee of the Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights (FCUDLR). A month later, Mr. Federico Mayor Zaragoza, Director General of UNESCO, received the organizers of the WCLR and, with them, the text and the process. Read and download the full document here.