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GENERAL ASSEMBLY HEARS APPEAL FOR BANGLA TO BE MADE AN OFFICIAL UN LANGUAGE

Source: unic.org

27 September - Bangla should be named an official United Nations language to reflect the vast number of its speakers and its heritage in literature and history, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh has told the General Assembly.

Sheikh Hasina told the Assembly's annual high-level segment on Saturday that an international movement to celebrate the use of mother languages was growing stronger every year.

“Since Bangla [also known as Bengali] is spoken by nearly 300 million people worldwide, has a rich history in literature, history and in other fields, our Parliament adopted a resolution requesting the UN to declare Bangla as one of its official languages,” she said. “I fervently appeal to you all for acceptance of our very legitimate request.”

There are currently six official languages at the UN – English, French, Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Spanish.

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) observes International Mother Language Day on 21 February, commemorating the day in 1952 when students demonstrating peacefully for Bengali to be made an official language of what was then East Pakistan were shot dead by armed forces.