Working Group on Multilingualism (WG-M)
Chaired by Adama Samassékou,
President of the International Council of Philosophy & Human Sciences
The Broadband Commission for Digital Development was launched by Dr.
Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General of the ITU, and Ms Irina Bokova,
Director-General of UNESCO, in May 2010 in response to the call by the
Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, to step up UN efforts
to help accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Its
main aim is to highlight the importance of broadband in helping boost
achievement of the MDGs. It unites senior policy-makers and top executives from
the telecommunication industry in a bid to extend the benefits of high-speed
Internet to people around the world. To focus the work of this influential set
of leaders, the Commission established eight Working Groups on various key
The Working Group on Multilingualism (WG-M) aims to promote principles of
multilingualism and multi-cultural diversity. It seeks to consider:
- To what extent the language question is considered as an important
factor for achieving the MDGs and how the Broadband Commission could take
this factor into account during its deliberations?
- Which are technical and political solutions to ultimately ensure a
multilingual broadband Internet and a democratized digital culture for every
citizen of the world?
- How can broadband facilitate the preservation and development of global
- How could we raise awareness, particularly through the Internet, about
vital importance of multilingualism for global governance and the
safeguarding of humanity?
- How could a World Summit on Multilingualism contribute to the promotion
and respect of linguistic and cultural diversity in the world, as well as
the attainment of the MDGs and peace in the world?
WG-M held its inaugural meeting in Paris on 5 June to define the scope and
purpose of its activities.
The WG-M has made a number of recommendations to ensure that multilingualism
and multicultural diversity are taken into account in shaping the future of
broadband and our online world. It has issued a call for a Ministerial
Conference on Multilingualism in 2013, as well as a UN General Assembly Decision
on World Summit on Multilingualism in 2014 and a World Summit on Multilingualism
in 2017, with a Summit Preparatory process beforehand.