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Ásdís R. Magnúsdóttir, Chair of the Governing Board of the Vigdís International Centre for Multilingualism and Intercultural Understanding, represented the Centre at the UNESCO International Literacy Day Conference in Paris on Monday 9 September. Ásdís gave an introduction of research done within the Vigdís International Centre, which currently has a special focus on language contact in the West-Nordic Region.

At the conference, which had the theme of ‘literacy and multilingualism’, stakeholders and decision-makers from all over the world discussed key issues and ways to improve literacy policies and practices in multilingual contexts. The conference coincides with the celebrations of the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages and the 25th anniversary of the World Conference on Special Needs Education. 

After the message from UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education, Ms Stefania Giannini, gave the opening speech at the conference, stressing the  importance of allowing “multilingualism to flourish, through concrete policies – within and beyond the education sector.”

The conference ended with a Prize Award Ceremony, where projects from Algeria, Colombia, Indonesia, Italy and Senegal were awarded through five 2019 UNESCO International Literacy Prizes.

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