Workshop organised by the Council of Europe and UNESCO
at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris
21 February 2008

Registration and information:
Léonie Marin (UNESCO), tel +33 1 45 68 43 55, 

UNESCO - meeting room XI
7 place de Fontenoy
75732 Paris Cedex 15
(nearest Metro Stations: Cambronne or Ségur)

On the occasion of the launching of the International Year of Languages, this workshop will gather specialists to debate on the effectiveness of the existing legal instruments that protect and promote multilingualism worldwide.

At a regional level, the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages - the only international treaty specifically devoted to the protection and promotion of regional or minority languages - is celebrating its 10th anniversary.  Ten years after its entry into force,  the workshop will provide the opportunity to assess how the Charter operates in practice and to what extent it protects the European cultural heritage.  This experience will be put into a broader context with a special perspective on Africa's experience of linguistic diversity and multilingualism. Finally, case studies from different countries around the world, as well as from NGOs will complement this overview.

The seminar will try to answer some of the following questions : Can we see patterns emerging from the contributions and discussions? What are the concrete benefits for languages? What are the limits? Can synergies be encouraged among the different actors?

Interpretation will be provided in the following languages: English, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Arabic