ICVolunteers Projects Calendar

Launch of the Network for Linguistic Diversity

Project at a glance

Dates and Place

21 - 23 February 2006, Paris, France


ACALAN (African Academy of Languages), UNESCO

Project details


Linguistic and cultural diversity in cyberspace is one of the priorities identified at the recent World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). During its second phase in Tunis, a new institutional network was created by the African Academy of Languages (ACALAN), under the auspices of the African Union and NEPAD: "World Network for Linguistic Diversity". While the initiative started in the context of the WSIS, it also includes organizations not solely focusing on cyber issues.

This new Network was officially be inaugurated by the Director General of UNESCO, H.E. Koïchiro Matsuura, in Paris at the occasion of the International Mother Language Day Celebration. A two-day workshop followed the launch. It's aim was to identify the specific areas of work of the Network. 

Description of the Network

A multi-stakeholder network, involving all sectors including civil society, governments, international organizations, research centers and universities, media, the private sector and individuals.

Its mission is to value and promote linguistic diversity as a basis of the unity of human communication.


  • Encourage governments and institutions to adopt and implement measures enhancing equitable multilingualism;
  • Promote mother tongue-based bilingual and/or multilingual education at all levels of education everywhere as a means of promoting both social and gender equality;
  • Promote software localization and equal access of all languages to cyberspace;
  • Facilitate the empowerment of language communities worldwide in developing and using their own languages;
  • Contribute to the creation and sharing of language resources;
  • Observe the implementation of language policies and serve as a focal point for linguistic research projects.


The meeting gathered representatives from around the world, including Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Participants include representatives from government, civil society, private sector and international organisations (specialists in linguistic, in computing, representatives from language academies, etc.).

Representatives of the following institutions took part in the Tunis --during which the Network was created-- and/or its lauch in Paris: African Academy of Languages  (ACALAN), Agence Intergouvernementale de la Francophonie (AIF), Casa de les Llengües of Catalunya, Codice Idee per cultura SRL, E-Africa Commission du NEPAD, ENSTA, Funredes, GREF, SIL International, Linguasphere Observatory, Intlnet, ICVolunteers, Institut francophone des nouvelles technologies de l'information et de la formation (INTIF), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Language Observatory, International Literacy Institute of the University of Pennsylvania (ILI), Multilingual Internet Names Consortium (MINC), RECLA, Thai Computational Linguisitcs Laboratory, Toile Métisse, UNESCO, Unicode IDN in Africa, Union Africaine, Union latine.

Expected Results

  • To contribute to the reduction of the knowledge divide through the construction of concrete, specific and adapted programs, which enhance the use of languages as means of the world's cultures;
  • To implement Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships in the field of cultural and linguistic diversity;
  • To contribute to the strengthening of the dialogue of cultures and civilizations for a world of peace and solidarity.

Role of ICVolunteers

ICVolunteers is participating in the organization of this event.

Volunteering Opportunities

We are looking of translators and interpreters who would like to actively participate in the activities of the new network.

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