10.05.2006 -

ITU-UNESCO Global Symposium on Multilingual Internet opened in Geneva

"Multilingualism is a political imperative to democratize our societies so that everyone can make a contribution", said Elizabeth Longworth, Director of UNESCO's Information Society Division, opening a three day symposium on the multilingual Internet yesterday in Geneva, Switzerland.

Other speakers at the opening of the event were Houlin Zhao, Director of ITU-TSB, Charles Geiger, Executive Director, WSIS Secretariat and Direk Charoenphol, National Telecommunication Commission of Thailand, who acts as the President of the Symposium.


Chaired by Adama Samassékou, President of the African Academy of Languages, the introductory session of the event addressed topics such as the elements that are needed to include a language on the Internet, culturally-appropriate local environments in a global internet and UNESCO's contribution for the inclusion of languages and local content in cyberspace: from oral languages to digital objects.


Other sessions on the first day covered issues such as standards and technical solutions, internationalized domain names experience showcase, scripts encoding operational experiences, translation aided by computer software and sound recording for language preservation.


The meeting, that will conclude its work tomorrow, is a follow-up to a Conference on "Multilingualism for Cultural Diversity and Participation of All in Cyberspace" that UNESCO, in partnership with the African Academy of Languages (ACALAN), the Agence intergouvernementale de la Francophonie (AIF) and the Government of Mali and other international institutions, organised in Bamako, Mali, on 6 and 7 May 2005.

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