are in the MOST Phase I website (1994-2003).
The MOST Phase II website is available at: www.unesco.org/shs/most.
MOST CLEARING HOUSE UPDATE
A Best Practices Database has been developed by the Clearing House to provide information about these model solutions for policymakers and researchers.
Over the next two years the Clearing House will also have developed an Internet Conference on Best Practices in the field of Poverty Eradication and Social Exclusion. The Conference will have its own website to present major issues and the agenda. Participants will take part in the discussion by e-mail.
The objectives of the Internet Conference will be
(ii) to provide an opportunity for policymakers and researchers to exchange experiences in this field and
(iii) to extend the existing MOST Database on Best Practices.
Paul de Guchteneire
The MOST Clearing House at: http://www.unesco.org/most
The MOST Best Practices Database at: http://www.unesco.org/most/bphome.htm
Linguistic diversity: A particular challenge for multicultural policies
The MOST project "Democratic governance in multi-cultural and multi-ethnic societies", a democracy training project launched at the request of the Kyrgyz government and financed by the Swiss Department for Foreign Affairs and the European Commission for Democracy through Law, has put special emphasis on developing strategies to manage ethnic conflict between linguistic groups. Because it affects many areas of public policy, including education, media, new information technologies, and even the labor market, linguistic diversity constitutes a particular challenge to the development of multicultural policies.
Promoting democracy through law
Promoting democratic governance and designing multicultural policies requires first and foremost a legal framework recognizing the equal rights of ethnic, religious and linguistic groups. This framework is provided by standard-setting instruments of international human rights law which address the rights of persons belonging to minorities.
However, it is primarily on the national level where linguistic human rights are implemented, by jurisdiction, legislation, and policy-making. The MOST Programme intends to assist decision-makers in designing constitutional frameworks and multicultural policies to promote peaceful coexistence between ethno-linguistic groups, to find mechanisms of power-sharing and intercultural communication and, thereby, to build democratic institutions and a democratic political culture.
Disseminating information on linguistic rights
The MOST Clearing House on Linguistic Rights is designed to provide tools for legislators, decision-makers, researchers and other representatives of both governmental and non-governmental organizations to monitor the transition to democracy in multicultural and multi-ethnic societies. It provides an overview of the most important international legal instruments pertaining to linguistic rights as well as a collection of constitutional provisions. This information can be used for further legal analysis as well as for the development of multicultural policies aimed at resolving and avoiding language conflict. PdG
New MOST Discussion Paper
"Democratic Governance in Multilingual Societies: Local Conditions for the Implementation of International Human Rights through Multicultural Policies", by Matthias Koening, Institute for Sociology, University of Marburg, Germany.
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