SIL International Media Release

SIL and UNESCO collaborate to build the capacity of educational policy makers

Dr. Sheldon Shaeffer, (left) Director of UNESCO, and Dr. Kimmo Kosonen, SIL representative, sign the MOU.

Dr. Sheldon Shaeffer, (left) Director of UNESCO, and Dr. Kimmo Kosonen, SIL representative, sign the MOU.
© UNESCO / P. Kulapongse

(May 2007) Representatives from SIL International Asia Area and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)—Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education—signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Both organizations have agreed to work together on language and education issues, particularly as they relate to ethnolinguistic minority populations in Asia.

The MOU, signed on 16 May 2007 in Bangkok, Thailand, aims to facilitate and strengthen collaboration between UNESCO and SIL, including cooperation in building the capacity of educational policy makers to make decisions with regard to language-in-education issues. UNESCO and SIL will continue to advocate for the affirmation and support of linguistic diversity and the recognition of the danger that many existing languages will be lost.

Other elements of the MOU include a commitment to collect and share information of mutual interest as well as to explore other areas of possible cooperation, such as publications in endangered languages, software for universal access to information and knowledge and other areas of potential common interest.

As an international nongovernmental organization (INGO), SIL partners with government organizations, other INGOs and local groups. SIL has special consultative status with UNESCO and with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations.