Issue 14, January 2015
Esperanto por UN, “A UNA for a Language Community,” Celebrates First Anniversary
Jan. 5. “Esperanto for the United Nations” (EUN), the new organization of Esperantists supporting the work of the United Nations, recently celebrated its first anniversary. Created to bring news of the UN’s work to the attention of the Esperanto-speaking community, to organize activities promoting the UN, and to stress the importance of the linguistic dimension of international affairs, the organization has had a successful first year of operations, including the following:
- Participation in the April 2014 Symposium on Language and Equality organized in New York by the Center for Research and Documentation on World Language Problems and the University of Hartford and featuring papers on a number of topics relating to international development and language.
- An information session on the United Nations for speakers of Esperanto attending the World Congress of Esperanto in Buenos Aires in July.
- Participation of a three-person delegation in the Conference of Nongovernmental Organizations at UN Headquarters in New York.
- Ongoing efforts to convince national Esperanto associations to join the United Nations Associations in their countries and to launch UN-related activities. Many have responded favorably to the call.
“Think of us as a United Nations Association for speakers of Esperanto,” suggested Professor Humphrey Tonkin, at the time of the founding of EUN. Tonkin, who represents UEA in New York, went on to add, “We want to mobilize speakers of Esperanto behind the aims and ideals of the UN.” He pointed to the clause in UEA’s constitution to the effect that “Good international relations and respect for human rights, as they are defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other internationally recognised instruments, are essential conditions for the work of UEA.” “Given that commitment,” he said, “it is perfectly natural that we would support the UN and its important work for human rights in the broadest sense.”
President of Esperanto por UN is Stefano Keller, representative of the Universal Esperanto Association in Geneva. Board members are Ileana Schrøder, president of the Danish Esperanto Association, Michael Boris Mandirola, vice-president of UEA’s youth section (TEJO), and Renée Triolle, representative of UEA at UNESCO. Dr. Tonkin also serves on the board.
The organization has two honorary presidents, well-known speakers of Esperanto: Judge Giuliano Turone, of Italy, and Professor Rafaela Urueña Alvarez, of Spain. Professor Urueña, a specialist on EU law, is professor of international law and international relations at the University of Valladolid. She is the author of books and articles on environmental protection and on the law of the sea and was a founding member of the Institute of European Studies at the University of Valladolid.
Dr. Giuliano Turone was for many years an investigating judge specialising in Mafia crime and later served as prosecutor at the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague and as a judge on the Supreme Court of Cassation, the court of last resort in the Italian legal system. He has taught at the Catholic University of Milan and is author of several legal handbooks. He has a particular interest in human rights.
Office of the Universal Esperanto Association at the United Nations
777 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017.