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V. Rybakov takes part in the symposium on multilingualism

A symposium dedicated to promoting the principle of multilingualism in international organisations and in international cooperation is being held in New York. Such an event is organised annually by the Study Group on Language at the United Nations in conjunction with a number of linguistic non-governmental organisations.

The Study Group on Language at the United Nations is a union of scholars and professionals interested in how the language policies of the United Nations work in practice, how people at the UN use language and make choices among languages, and how the UN communicates linguistically with people outside the organisation itself.

Valentin Rybakov, Permanent Representative of Belarus to the UN, took part in the opening of the event, as well as in its first panel discussion as a representative of the Russian-speaking group of states.

During the interactive exchange of views, the head of the Belarusian Mission noted the efforts of Belarus to promote the principles of peaceful settlement of differences between states. An integral part of this process is the ability to accurately communicate one’s position to the interlocutor, which is impossible without engagement of language specialists when it comes to interlocutors that speak in different languages.

V. Rybakov also drew the attention of participants to the problem of poor legal and physical protection of translators and interpreters working in areas of international conflicts and peacebuilding, and also called for thinking of possible steps to change this situation for the better.

The topics of the symposium are relevant in the context of the efforts taken by Belarus in the UN on strengthening the role of translation and interpretation in preserving multilingualism.

The UN General Assembly in May 2017 upon the joint Belarus-Azerbaijan initiative adopted the resolution “The role of professional translation in connecting nations and fostering peace, understanding and development”, with the goal to give more attention and respect to the profession of an interpreter closely associated with diplomatic and international activities, as well as translation/interpretation, as one of the main tools for strengthening and developing multilingualism in the world. In accordance with the document, September 30 was declared as International Translation Day in the United Nations.

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