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UN Marks International Native Language Day

Kurdish children in Iraq (RFE/RL) PRAGUE, 21 February 2006 -- Today is International Native Language Day.

To mark the occasion, the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will hold a conference to focus on the world's linguistic diversity.

UNESCO notes more than 50 percent of the world's 6,000 languages are in danger of disappearing over the next few generations and thousands of languages are overlooked by the world's educational systems and the Internet.

International Mother Language Day was established by UNESCO in 1999 to promote the world's native languages, especially those of minorities.