In Pristina, was held the fifth Annual Conference of the International Association of Languages Commissioners (IALC)
4 maj 2018
The fifth Annual Conference of the International Association of Language Commissioners (IALC), hosted by the Office of the Language Commissioner, was held on the topic "Multilingualism: Value and / or Obligation". The opening of this conference was made by H.E. Ramush Haradinaj, Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo, Slavisa Mladenovic, LanguageCommissioner and Meri Huws, Commissioner for the Welsh Language and outgoing Chairperson of the IALC.
In his speech to the present, Prime Minister Haradinaj emphasized that the Republic of Kosovo has the most advanced legal framework in the field of language rights. The Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo and the Law on the Use of Languages stipulate that the Albanian and Serbian languages enjoy equal status of official languages, while the languages of other communities, such as Bosnian, Turkish and Roma languages, enjoy the status of official languages and languages in official use in the municipalities.
"Kosovo is specific to languages and has official bilingualism. So Kosovo is one of the countries that has two official languages, Albanian and Serbian. The Serbian language as an official language in implementation has some difficulties, namely the Constitution, with laws is an official language, but there are some difficulties in implementation, such as translation, preparation of legislation and especially communication in every level," said Prime Minister Haradinaj.
"There are times when voluminous material dynamics make it difficult for us to be in time with materials in Serbian, so our capacity is not enough, yet we have to invest much more in the framework and resources so that we can work in time in two official languages. What matters is learning each other's language and I think that in Kosovo we should be courageous to learn each other's language," he said.
Prime Minister Haradinaj added that the Government has prepared and approved an action plan for addressing the recommendations of the country's 2018 report of the European Commission, which among others provides for the adoption of a strategy for the protection and promotion of language rights and underlined that the Government continues to support the commitments of the Languages Commissioner in Kosovo.
Meanwhile, Meri Huws from Wales of Great Britain, who is a Welsh Language Commissioner and Outgoing Chair of the Association, expressed her pleasure in visiting Kosovo.
"It is an absolute privilege to visit Kosovo, and to see and hear the various experiences of panellists taking part in this very important Conference. As a leader of the international association of language commissioners, and with the completion of my mission this year, it is natural to look back and see this association that is five years old, it is a very young association, we are no longer a baby, but we have not grown up enough yet, "she said. Huws added that despite the differences between states that are part of the association, all states work on language rights independently.
Meanwhile, the Languages Commissioner, Slavisa Mladenovic, in his introductory speech said language rights are important for a democratic society, are an integral part of preserving cultural identity as well as preventing marginalization and discrimination.
"The protection and promotion of language rights is an obligation to protect human rights and the essential ingredient of good governance. These rights are essential to prevent tensions and conflict, and to build an equitable and sustainable society in the political and social sphere. Education in the languages of non-majority communities their use in the media, public administration and the judiciary, among other things, is vital to a democracy "said among other things Mladenovic.
During the conference was offered a good opportunity to share ideas and good practices in overcoming the challenges in the protection and promotion of language rights. During the conference, special focus was on the status of language in post conflict societies, the advancement of service delivery in official languages through active offer, and the challenges and opportunities of learning the official languages in education.
The conference was attended by members of the Association of Canada, Wales, Great Britain, Ireland, the Basque Country, Flanders, Catalonia, and at the same time Mr. Hilmi Jashari, Ombudsman and a considerable number of representatives of University of Pristina and civil society.
Office of the Language Commissioner was established in April 2012 under auspices of the Office of the Prime Minister, pursuant to Regulation br.07/2012. The Office is mandated to oversee the implementation of the law on languages, works with institutions to improve the implementation of the law and promote and protect the right on the use of the language of all communities in Kosovo.