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International Mother Language Day, 21 February

International Mother Language Day (IMLD) was proclaimed by the General Conference of UNESCO in 1999 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. There is growing awareness that languages play a vital role in process of integration into all aspects of public life but particularly in education. It strengthens co-operation and contributes to attaining quality education for all, building inclusive knowledge societies and preserving cultural heritage, and mobilizing political will to apply the benefits of science and technology to sustainable development. Languages are among the most precious, and at the same time the most fragile, treasures of mankind.

Theme for 2012: Mother tongue instruction and inclusive education

UNESCO would like to highlight the importance of mother tongue from the angle of the right to education and encourage each member state to promote instruction and education in mother tongue.