This important note comes to us thanks to News Wales:
Welsh minister marks UN year of languages
Rhodri Glyn Thomas, the Minister for Heritage will meet with his counterparts from the Basque Country, Catalonia, Flanders, Galicia and Scotland at a conference on cultural and linguistic policy in Edinburgh today to mark the United Nations International Year of Languages 2008.
Addressing the conference, Rhodri Glyn Thomas will say: "We have a saying in Welsh: Cenedl heb Iaith, cenedl heb galon - a nation without a language is a nation without a heart. The Welsh Assembly Government fully understands and appreciates the contribution that the Welsh language has to play as part of our nation - as an intrinsic and fundamental part of our culture, our history and the very social fabric of our country."
"Wales has a prestigious history of strong cultural interfaces with the world - from the ambitions for sharing and world harmony at the root of the foundation of the Llangollen International Eisteddfod through to the challenge of Art to reflect humanity in our recently established Artes Mundi competition, we are eager to develop Wales's international profile."
As well addressing the conference, he will sign a joint declaration on cultural policy with the other culture Ministers to:
~ Establish cultural co-operation mechanisms between the nations.
~ Promote joint initiatives in the field of culture, the promotion of cultural heritage and support for the diversity of language.
~ Promote an exchange of ideas, experiences and good practice in the field of culture.
~ Maintain periodic contact in order to monitor and review the joint initiatives.
UPDATE: The people behind the initiative International Year of Languages 2008 (IYL 2008) have posted a temporary web site with additional information and access to documents that support this project.
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