Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, will address the Los Angeles World Affairs Council over dinner on Tuesday, April 5th. He will discuss the role of the United Nations in an era of enormous challenges to world peace, human rights, and global healthcare.
The Secretary-General will talk about why he thinks the United Nations is crucial to the future of humanity in these troubled times. His talk comes at a time when wars have rendered millions of civilians homeless, when growing violence and extremism have spread fear and countervailing extremism, and when environmental degradation and health crises have emerged as threats to the long-term well-being of our planet.
SOME OF THE STUDENT QUESTIONS FOR Secretary-General Ban today ARE:
1. Experts met at the UN with the purpose of discussing the revitalization of indigenous languages. During this meeting, indigenous peoples recommended various initiatives for keeping our languages alive. One of these recommendations was the establishment of a global fund to support indigenous language initiatives. What is the United Nations doing to develop and support this fund and how can my school become involved?
2. I feel along with many other youth at my school that there is an urgent importance to keep indigenous languages alive. It has been noted by the UN that there are 6,000 to 7,000 oral languages in the world today, one dies every two weeks. Only 3% of people in the world today speak an indigenous language. Youth at my school are eager to keep and learn their indigenous languages alive. MY QUESTION IS, what opportunities exist for youth my age to become involved in the United Nations effort to support the revitalization of indigenous language?
3. In February of 2015 the United Nations condemned Mexico over the mishandling of the murder and disappearance of indigenous student teachers from Ayotzinapa Guerrero Mexico, now over one year later I ask, how can we speak of revitalizing language when our few indigenous language teachers are being killed without consequence in my country? What more can the UN do?
4. As you have previously stated, one language dies every 2 weeks. Tragically, these languages are no longer mother tongues, because our mothers can no longer speak them. I recently attended the UN Expert Group Meeting on Indigenous Languages in January, and I saw firsthand that the resolutions of grassroots Indigenous Peoples are being marginalized. Secretary-General Ban, What can grassroots Indigenous youth do to ensure that our voices are no longer silenced or excluded by the difficulty to access the UN meetings and mechanisms?