Bolivia is at the forefront of multilingualism in the world, the Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said Thursday marking the International Day for Mother Language.
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UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay acknowledged Thursday Bolivia’s work in the defense and respect for the education of local Indigenous languages.
"With 37 languages recognized as official, Bolivia is at the forefront of the struggle for multilingualism and education in the mother tongue, which are also essential to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals," Azoulay said in a statement.
She also emphasized the "exemplary commitment (of the government), in full agreement with the work that has been developing for decades, in the protection of the rights of Indigenous peoples and cultural linguistic diversity throughout the world.”
Bolivian President Evo Morales thanked Azoulay for highlighting the South American country as a vanguard in promoting Indigenous languages.
“We are grateful to @AAzoulay, general director of the @UNESCO_es, who highlights our beloved Bolivia as a leading country in the promotion of indigenous languages,” Morales wrote on Twitter. “The culture of peace, identity, knowledge and principles of the people are preserved in their native languages."
Since Morales assumed the presidency, a series of projects and laws were implemented to promote and defend the cultures of the original peoples of Bolivia.
In Bolivia, 37 Indigenous languages are recognized, while the Constitution of the Plurinational State establishes equality of rights, respect for the traditions, customs, and autonomy of the Indigenous peoples.