Please note that our NEW website can be found at: www.languageandtheun.org.

2016 Symposium Report (or download the latest version as: PDF)
2016 Symposium Programme
Event Documents for the Symposium on Language and Language and the Sustainable Development Goals





New York,  Thursday-Friday, April 21 & 22, 2016


organized by

The Study Group on Language and the United Nations

in co-operation with

The Center for Applied Linguistics, the

Center for Research and Documentation on World Language Problems, 

the Universal Esperanto Association, and other organizations


Keynote Speaker: Suzanne Romaine


Well-known for her work on historical linguistics and sociolinguistics, from 1984 to 2014 Suzanne Romaine was Merton Professor of English Language at the University of Oxford


Featured speakers will include Michael Ten-Pow (Senior Advisor on Multilingualism, DGACM, United Nations),  Carolyn Benson (Teachers College, Columbia University), Lisa McEntee-Atalianis (University of London), Kurt Müller (National Defense University), Timothy Reagan (University of Maine), Rosemary Salomone (St. John’s University), Humphrey Tonkin (University of Hartford), and Sarah Moore, Molly Fee, Terrence Wiley & Beatriz Arias (Center for Applied Linguistics)


The 17 Sustainable Development Goals approved by the UN General Assembly for the period 2015-2030 aim to engage not only governments, but “all people, everywhere,” at all levels of civil society.  Their implementation will require active, two-way, democratic communication, in a multiplicity of languages.  Are we ready for such an effort?  What linguistic obstacles stand in the way? 


The Church Center

777 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY

(First Avenue and 44th Street)

Thursday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


Find us on the Sociolinguistic Events Calendar: http://baal.org.uk/slxevents.html.

Study Group on Language and the United Nations.   

We are a group of scholars and professionals interested in 

  • how the language policies of the United Nations work in practice, 
  • how people at the UN use language and make choices among languages, and 
  • how the UN communicates linguistically with people outside the organisation itself.  

On this site you will find a bibliography of relevant books, articles and resource materials, and information about past and upcoming events organized by our group!  We hope to add further materials as they become available.  
We are interested in hearing from others with similar interests to our own and we invite you to join our group.