Russian Language Day At The UN

School pupils in Sochi during the visit of the UN Secretary General in 2013. UN Photo / Eskinder Debebe
School pupils in Sochi during the visit of the UN Secretary General in 2013. UN Photo / Eskinder Debebe

“As the material of literature, Slavic-Russian language has an undeniable superiority before all European: his fate was extremely happy. In the XI century ancient Greek suddenly revealed to him his vocabulary, treasury harmony, gave him his deliberate laws of grammar, its excellent speed, majestic voice within; In short, it has adopted, will relieve thus the slow time improvements. Itself has a sonorous and expressive, it is henceforth zaemlet flexibility and accuracy. Folksy dialect was necessary to break away from the book; but later they became friends, and the element is given to us to communicate our thoughts. ” – AS Pushkin

June 6, the day of the great Russian poet AS Pushkin, in the framework of the program of support and development of multilingualism and cultural diversity, the UN celebrates the Day of the Russian language. One of the goals of this program – to maintain the equality of all six official UN languages: English, Arabic, Spanish, Chinese, Russian and French.

The decision to hold days of languages was adopted by the UN Department of Public Information on the eve of  International Mother Language Day , celebrated annually on 21 February at the initiative of UNESCO.

The purpose of the days of the UN languages is to raise awareness of the history, culture and the development of each of the six official UN languages among the staff of the Organization. Each language is given the opportunity to find their own unique approach and develop its own program of activities of the day, including an invitation to well-known poets and writers and the development of information and case materials.

Cultural activities, among others, may include the performance of musical and literary works, competitions, exhibitions, lectures, variety show and performances of artists, holding days of national cuisine and performances of folk bands, demonstrations of movies and language express lessons for those wishing to explore further of the official UN languages.

UN and Multilingualism

Multilingualism, which is an important factor in harmonious communication among peoples, is of particular importance for the United Nations. Promoting tolerance, it also provides effective and more active participation of all in the working process of the Organization, as well as greater rigor efficiency, better results and greater involvement of the parties. It is necessary to preserve and promote multilingualism through various measures taken within the United Nations system, in the interests of sharing and communication.

Ensuring a balance between the six official languages – English, Arabic, Spanish, Chinese, Russian and French (with English and French are the languages of everyday professional communication) – it has been a constant subject of concern of all the Secretaries-General. During the period from 1946 to date, many measures to promote the use of official languages have been taken to ensure that the United Nations, its goals and actions were understood by the general public.

The official languages of the United Nations are Arabic, Chinese, Russian and French. English and French are also working languages of the United Nations Secretariat ( resolution 2 (I)  of 1 February 1946).

In its  resolution 54/64  of 6 December 1999, the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to appoint a senior Secretariat staff  on multilingualism focal point  within the Secretariat.

Multilingualism should be considered from different points of view, particularly from the point of view of internal and external communication. Internal communication is carried out within the Organization – whether it be an official cooperation between the Member States and all parties involved in the work of the United Nations, or the interaction between Member States and the United Nations Secretariat. It requires a distinction between working and official languages. External communication, focused on the widest possible public, may include languages other than the official, as well as the question of the use of media to spread the messages of the United Nations Organization. Finally, for the promotion of all aspects of multilingualism is necessary to examine separately the issue of human resources.

The functions of the Department of Public Information, in particular, is to ensure awareness of the ideals and messages of the United Nations around the world and their understanding in order to facilitate the support of the Organization with the participation of the main intermediaries, which are the means of the press, non-governmental organizations and educational institutions. To this must be provided as widely as possible and timely distribution of information and materials. In this regard, the Department continually strives to expand the audience all over the world, which uses its information products and performance, such as television and radio program, a website, a network of United Nations information centers and sightseeing program in the main compartment.


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