If the credo of the Global Action Plan for the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Languages is to “leave no one behind and exclude no one,” what about the indigenous Armenian population of Western Armenia, who are oppressed by the illegal occupation under international law of their land for over 100 years? This occupation has severe consequences for the vitality of their language, which is an expression linked to their genetic resources.
And what about the indigenous population of Artsakh, who practice a dialect of Armenian and have suffered a war of annihilation as part of a genocidal program? They have been subjected to a total blockade, cutting them off from the rest of the world for over 7 months, and are facing a plan to annihilate their population of 120,000 inhabitants by Turkish-Azeri forces.
The question of our indigenous languages cannot be considered without taking into account the fact that extermination is one of the consequences of the disappearance of our language, and without considering the question of the occupation of their land as a factor of uprooting which has consequences for our linguistic expression.
The global action plan mentions “mobilizing indigenous peoples themselves as agents of change in rights and duties as they ensure the transmission of their languages from one generation to the next.” In this respect, we are asking the Clearing House to implement specific procedures to support the development of the Armenian language of Western Armenia and its Artsakh dialect within the framework of projects that we are prepared to submit to it.
It would also be interesting to draw up a list of the indigenous languages still in existence, calling on each language holder to translate the United Nations declaration into their mother tongue.
In this regard, we would also like to transmit to you the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, translated into Armenian.
Thank you for your attention.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Western Armenia