International Mother Language Day 2024 has been celebrated at the UN headquarters for the 8th consecutive year.

International Mother Language Day (IMLD) 2024 has been celebrated at the UN headquarters today for the 8th consecutive year. The Permanent Missions of Bangladesh, Austria, Bahrain, Bolivia, Romania and South Africa to the United Nations jointly organized the event in partnership with the UN Secretariat and UNESCO. The President of the United Nations General Assembly Mr. Dennis Francis graced the event as the Chief Guest.

This year’s IMLD event featured a rich and multilingual discussion followed by cultural performances.  The President of the General Assembly, the Permanent Representatives / Ambassadors of Bahrain, Bolivia, Romania, South Africa, Austria, India, Hungary, Papua New Guinea and Tanzania, senior representatives of the UN and UNESCO and a representative of civil society participated in the discussion on the theme of this year’s IMLD, – “Multilingual education is a pillar of intergenerational learning”. In addition to the six official languages, interpretation was provided in Bangla, Hindi and Romanian language.  The cultural segment included the presentation of the theme song – ‘Amar bhai-er rokteranganoekushe February’, instrumental and vocal music by the UN Chamber Music Society and diaspora-based cultural groups and Bangla songs. The event was telecast live on the United Nations Web TV.

In his welcome remarks, the Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN Ambassador Muhammad Abdul Muhith paid deep homage to the language martyrs for upholding the sanctity of Bangla in 1952, and to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for leading the language movement and the subsequent national movements culminating to our liberation in 1971. He recalled with gratitude the crucial role of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in securing UNESCO’s recognition of 21st February as the International Mother Language Day at the initiative of expatriate Bangladeshis. He also highlighted the importance of mother tongue-based education for ensuring quality and inclusive education for the children. He also reiterated the call of Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to make Bangla an official language of the United Nations.

The President of the General Assembly and all other speakers acknowledged with deep appreciation, the leadership role of Bangladesh in celebrating International Mother Language Day in the United Nations Headquarters. They thanked Bangladesh for its pioneering role in getting the proclamation of a day dedicated to the mother language. They also recognized the importance of mother tongue-based multilingual education as the foundation for continued learning and development. The chair of the NGO Committee on Language and Languages also spoke at the event as a civil society representative.

The event was attended by a significant number Ambassadors, diplomats from different countries, high officials from the UN Secretariat, civil society and Bangladeshi community representatives.

Earlier in the morning the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh observed the Martyrs Day and the International Mother Language Day with due solemnity in the Mission’s premises. The Permanent Representative and the mission officials laid a floral wreath in the Shaheed Minar established in the mission. During the event, the messages of the President, Prime Minister, and Foreign Minister were read out by the Mission officials.

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