The opening session of the Moscow Youth Forum “Moscow – City of Many Faces and Diverse Languages” took place on 26 February 2016 in Moscow at School № 170 named after A.P. Chekhov. The Forum was organized by Moscow City Department of Education together with Moscow Institute of Open Education and with the support of the Moscow City Government's Nationality Affairs Council, UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE) and the Department for National Policy, Interregional Cooperation and Tourism of Moscow. The event was dedicated to the International Mother Language Day, which has been proclaimed by the UN General Assembly and celebrated annually on 21 February, to foster cultural and linguistic diversity in the world.
The theme of the 2016 International Mother Language Day “Quality education, language(s) of instruction and learning outcomes” stresses the importance of mother languages for quality education and linguistic diversity, to support the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. “Mother languages in a multilingual approach are essential components of quality education, which is itself the foundation for empowering women and men and their societies. We must recognize and nurture this power, in order to leave no one behind, to craft a more just and sustainable future for all” said Director-General of UNESCO Ms. Irina Bokova in her message on the occasion of the International Mother Language Day.
The main objectives of the Forum were to support preserving linguistic diversity, training for intercultural dialogue, promoting tolerance and understanding between peoples from different cultures through language studying as well prevent linguistic and ethnic discrimination. Within the framework of three youth sections, students from Moscow educational centers discussed linguistic space and its role in the preservation of historical and spiritual commonality of peoples of Russia.
The event was attended by Head a.i. of UNESCO IITE prof. A. Khoroshilov, Chair of International Education faculty, Moscow Institute of Open Education Ms. E. Omelchenko; Senior Specialist of Department for National Policy, Interregional Cooperation and Tourism of Moscow Ms. E. Khabenskaya; Coordinator of Public relations of the UNESCO Chair of Moscow Institute of Open Education Ms. M. Krivenkaya as well as by students and teachers from Moscow schools, UNESCO Associated Schools and students from Poland.
The results of the Forum will be summarized in mid-November before the International Day for Tolerance.
Video of Moscow Educational TV on the International Mother Language Day