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Russian Language Day

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Russian Language Day

June 6
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Russian Language Day at the UN

June 6, the birthday of the great Russian poet A.S. Pushkin, as part of the program to support and develop multilingualism and cultural diversity, the UN celebrates Russian Language Day. One of the goals of this program is to maintain equal rights for all six official UN languages: English, Arabic, Spanish, Chinese, Russian and French.

The decision to hold language days was made by the Department of Public Information (currently the Department of Global Communications) on the eve of  International Mother Language Day , celebrated annually on February 21 at the initiative of UNESCO.

The purpose of the UN Language Days is to increase awareness of the history, culture and development of each of the six official UN languages ​​among the staff of the Organization. Each language is given the opportunity to find its own unique approach and develop its own program of events for the day, including the invitation of famous poets and writers and the development of information and thematic materials.

Cultural events, among others, may include the performance of musical and literary works, competitions, exhibitions, lectures, variety shows and performances by cultural figures, national cuisine days and performances by folklore groups, film screenings and express language lessons for those wishing to learn another language. from the official languages ​​of the UN.


UN and multilingualism

Multilingualism , which is an important factor for harmonious communication between peoples, is of particular importance to the United Nations. By promoting tolerance, it also ensures the effective and more active participation of all in the work of the Organization, as well as greater efficiency, better results and wider participation of parties. Multilingualism must be preserved and promoted through various measures taken within the United Nations system for sharing and communication.

Ensuring a balance between the six official languages ​​- English, Arabic, Spanish, Chinese, Russian and French (with English and French serving as the languages ​​of everyday professional communication) – has been a constant concern of all secretaries-general. From 1946 to the present day, numerous measures have been taken to promote the use of official languages ​​so that the United Nations, its purposes and actions are understood by the general public.

The official languages ​​of the United Nations are English, Arabic, Spanish, Chinese, Russian and French. English and French are also the 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 Secretariat-wide  focal point for multilingualism issues from among the senior staff  of the Secretariat.

Issues of multilingualism must be considered from various points of view, in particular from the point of view of internal and external communication. Internal communication occurs within the Organization, whether it is formal interaction between Member States and all parties involved in the work of the United Nations, or between Member States and the United Nations Secretariat. It requires a distinction to be made between working and official languages. External communications aimed at the general public may include languages ​​other than official ones, as well as the media used to disseminate United Nations messages. Finally, to promote all aspects of multilingualism, the issue of human resources must be addressed separately.

The responsibilities of the Department of Global Communications include, inter alia, ensuring awareness and understanding of the ideals and messages of the United Nations throughout the world in order to promote support for the Organization, through the participation of key intermediaries such as the press, non-governmental organizations and educational institutions. To achieve this, the widest and most timely dissemination of information and materials must be ensured. In this regard, the Department continually strives to expand the global audience for its information products and outputs, such as television and radio programs, a website, a network of United Nations information centers and tour programs at major offices.