Spanish Language Day : 23 April

The UN also speaks with Ñ
On April 23, "Spanish Language Day at the United Nations" is celebrated to raise awareness among the staff of the Organization, and the world in general, about the history, culture and use of Spanish as an official language.

The choice of the day attends to the anniversary of the death of the great genius of Spanish letters, Miguel de Cervantes. Coincidentally, the date of his death coincides with that of the most prestigious English playwright, William Shakespeare. Hence, both languages ??share the day.

Growing interest of Spanish-speakers in the United Nations
The United Nations has always looked for creative ways to promote official languages ??in all spheres of its work, including Spanish, of course.

The Secretariat uses formal and informal means to reach both the global public and its staff. From interpretation and translation services, to language and communication programs for your employees, or multilingual external communication services ( web , news and social networks ).

In the case of Spanish, there is also another extraordinary tool: the Grupo de Amigos del Español , a team founded in 2013 by the 20 Spanish-speaking Member States to coordinate and carry out activities aimed at promoting the use and dissemination of Spanish in the UN work.

Said group was created due to the growing interest of the Spanish-speaking peoples in the mission of the United Nations, which has been impacting the activities of the Organization through greater and sustained consultations, interactions and demands from the Spanish-speaking public throughout the world. planet.

Pablo Neruda
Our language in poems
Enjoy some of the poems of Chilean Pablo Neruda during his visit to the United Nations during a tribute to his achievements.

Multilingualism or how to "reach the heart"
Nelson Mandela stated that "if you speak to a man in a language he understands, the message reaches his head. If you speak to him in his language, it reaches his heart".

This premise has been present in the United Nations since its foundation, especially considering its spirit of peace, reconciliation and understanding after a period of war.

In this way, the Organization opted for multilingualism in the recognition of Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, French, English and Russian as official languages; meanwhile, French and English would be the working languages ??of the United Nations Secretariat, a factor that persists today.

If you speak to a man
in a language he understands,
the message goes to his head.
If you speak to him in his language,
it goes to his heart.

Years later, in 1999, the General Assembly understood that a coordinator was needed for issues related to multilingualism in the Secretariat in order to harmonize the measures adopted and propose strategies that would encourage the use of several languages ??to spread the ideals of the Organization.

Since 2003, this function has been the responsibility of the Under- Secretary-General of the Department of Global Communications , which aims to promote greater knowledge and understanding of the work of the United Nations through new multimedia platforms (television, radio, written press, videoconferences, websites…) and alliances with interest groups.

In 2010, the Organization took another step towards its multilingual commitment and decided to celebrate its cultural diversity through the establishment of "Language Days" for its six official languages.

The dates were chosen for their symbolism or historical importance for each of the languages.

A year later, in 2011, the United Nations advocated multilingualism as a means to promote, protect, and preserve the diversity of languages ??and cultures throughout the world, which in turn implied fostering respect for cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and a broader and more effective participation of all within the Organization.


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