Request for cultural asylum in UNESCO
Last Wednesday 15 May at 11 am, 150-200 representatives of France’s languages from the so-called « Collectif du 31 mars » (31 March Collective) in coordination with ELEN (European Language Equality Network) gathered in front of the UNESCO seat in Paris to request cultural asylum from this organization. On the request of ELEN, a delegation was received. Occitania was represented by Jean-François Laffont of ‘Convergence occitane’, Laurent Gosset of IEO (Institute for Occitan Studies), Jean-Marc Courbet of Felibrige and Guilhem Latrubesse, regional councillor in the Midi Pyrénées region. The delegation members justified the request for asylum on the grounds that the President of the French Republic, despite his promise, refused to put on the agenda of the coming constitutional reform the ratification of the European Charter for regional and minority languages and that there is almost no mention of regional languages in the education reform bill put forward by the minister of education. They requested UNESCO to write to President Hollande to urge him to respect linguistic diversity in France by granting a legal status to France’s languages. The Occitan Nation Party fully supports this initiative. Nevertheless, we think that the language issue is closely related to the issue of territorial reform. Autonomous regions with wider powers within a Federal Republic could in a first stage implement policies aiming at reconquering and resocializing France’s languages until France’s peoples master their linguistic but also economic and social future.
17 May 2013
Occitan Nation Party
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