The Indian government on Thursday said in Parliament that “sustained” efforts were being made to have ‘Hindi’ recognised as an official language of the United Nations and to “popularise” it throughout the UN system.
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Replying to a question raised by BJD MP Sujeet Kumar on steps taken by the government to have Hindi recognised as one of the official languages at the United Nations, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan responded by spelling out the rules and procedures of the global body. He said, “According to the United Nations (UN) procedure, getting Hindi accepted as an official language of the UN involves the adoption of a resolution by the UN General Assembly with at least two-thirds of its membership. Besides, the additional expenditure will have to be borne by all UN member states.”
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The response in Rajya Sabha detailed the efforts made by India to get Hindi on the list of the official languages. “The government has been making sustained efforts for the recognition of Hindi as an official language of the UN and to popularise it throughout the UN system. In 2018, a Voluntary Financial Contribution Agreement was signed between the UN and the Government of India to promote Hindi within the UN system for two years.”
Adding, “This was the first Memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by the UN with any country. This was extended in 2019 and is currently in force till March 2025. Pursuant to this agreement, the UN launched Hindi social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as a Hindi website of UN News. In addition, the UN broadcasts its programmes on the UN Radio website in Hindi, issues a weekly Hindi news bulletin on Sound Cloud, publishes a UN blog in Hindi and has provided a Hindi extension of UN News mobile app for both Android and iOS.”
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While Hindi is yet to be one of UN’s official languages, Prime Minister Modi has made sure he uses the medium to promote the language on international platforms, including the UN.
“On several occasions, Indian leaders have delivered statements in Hindi at the UN. This included the Prime Minister’s address at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Sessions in 2014, 2019, 2020, and 2021, and the then External Affairs Minister’s address at the UNGA sessions in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018,” Muraleedharan said in his reply.