Document presented by the Transnational Radical Party and Esperanto International Federation


1. The problem of international communication in the modern world assumes remarkable importance in international institutions, particularly at the United Nations, where representatives of the peoples of the planet debate very sensitive issues like peace and security.

2.The cost for translation and interpretation into the six official languages of the General Assembly (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish) already represents around a fifth of the budget of the United Nations. Given the experience of the European Union and its institutions, where those costs reach up to two fifths of the total budget, one can imagine how the costs for the United Nations would further increase if other languages were adopted, as some might have the right on the basis of the number of people, or countries, using them (for instance Hindi, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese).

3.The obvious impossibility of employing all the languages of the Member States imposes a question of equality and democracy: though most of the diplomats and representatives have command of one of the six official languages, they have no native ability to speak them, and thus are at a disadvantage.

4.This problem of communication assumes wide dimensions with respect to non-governmental organizations seeking popular, grassroots participation in their activities in favour of the United Nations and its principles, from ordinary people who are not trained in languages and not assisted by skilled translators and sophisticated, expansive means of overcoming language barriers.

5.The solution to that communication problem would be the adoption of an auxiliary neutral language, a language belonging to nobody in particular, allowing everyone to express him/herself on a democratic basis of equal linguistic opportunities.

6.The promotion of an international auxiliary language would favour the conservation of the cultural and linguistic ecosystem of the world, its neutrality helping minority languages not to give way to strong dominating languages.

7.Furthermore, fostering such a non-ethnic neutral language would disseminate education for peace, and strengthen cooperation by overcoming the problem of communication so that people who sometimes feel out of the mainstream can fully participate in the democratic process.

8.Such an international language, widely tested all over the world for more than a century, already exists:

Esperanto is spoken by millions, has a wide literature, and can be used to conduct any kind of international activity with dispatch and precision.

9.Esperanto is easy to learn. Also, it has been demonstrated by authoritative academic institutions that, thanks to its didactic qualities, knowing Esperanto makes it easier to learn other languages. Esperanto is the language of the International Academy of Sciences at San Marino.

10. In 1954 and 1985 the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization adopted resolutions in favour of the international auxiliary language Esperanto, and in 1994 it approved a financial contribution for a project of international communication among 105 schools in 29 countries in the world.

11. Adopting an international language like Esperanto by the United Nations - initially complementary to the six official languages and gradually expanding its use until all documents are stored in Esperanto and only certain documents are translated into other languages -, would require a modest up-front investment compared with subsequent enormous cost savings, and would mean growth in efficiency and, above all, equality as the major outcome.