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International Mother Language Day

Unsplash/Micha Brändli

News in Brief 20 February 2023

  • Guterres condemnation for North Korea ballistic missile launches  

  • Language rights are key to pushing back against nationalist rhetoric: Special Rapporteur  

  • UN atomic energy agency in discussions with Iran over uranium enrichment reports  

  • UN’s famine prevention expert: drought-hit communities know what they need 


Repressing mother languages “playing with fire”: UN language expert

Languages provide “strong emotional links,” so repressing the use of mother languages is “playing with fire”.

That’s according to Fernando Lopez Murcia, coordinator of the Spanish Language programme at the United Nations Headquarters.

Speaking to Lucy Dean in the lead up to International Mother Language Day, marked on 21 February, he said endangered languages should be conserved in the same way as endangered species of animals and began by explaining the value of multilingualism.