There are language commissioners across the world promoting the rights of speakers. The International Association of Language Commissioners (IALC) is a forum to share experiences and to learn from each other. IALC’s annual conference is held in Cardiff today (17 May), and chaired by the Welsh Language Commissioner, Meri Huws.
The conference was launched in a reception sponsored by the First Minister in the Pierhead in Cardiff Bay yesterday ( 16 May). The event will also provide an opportunity to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the Welsh Language Act (1967): a significant piece of legislation which established rights for people to use Welsh in legal proceedings in Wales and paved the way for subsequent legislation recognising the rights of Welsh speakers.
Following an address by the Welsh Language Commissioner, First Minister and Presiding Officer of the National Assembly, the Rt Hon Syr David Lloyd Jones, Lord Justice of Appeal, will deliver a speech about the anniversary of the Act and the position of the Welsh language within the legal context today.
The conference itself, today (17 May), Quality Marked by leading Welsh awarding body Agored Cymru, will provide an opportunity to offer an insight into the vitality of the Welsh language and to consider how pioneering use of information technology and effective workforce planning can increase the use of minority languages.
Guest speakers include: Meri Huws (Welsh Language Commissioner and Chair of IALC), Alun Davies AM (Minister for Lifelong Learning and Welsh Language), Dr Jeremy Evas (Lecturer in the School of Welsh, Cardiff University), Rafael Sainz de Rozas Bedialauneta (Culture and Language Rights Area Coordinator, Ararteko), François Boileau (French Language Services Commissioner of Ontario), Iestyn Davies (Chief Executive of Colegau Cymru), Dr Dafydd Trystan and Dr Ioan Matthews (Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol), Seán Ó Cuirreáin (the first An Coimisinéir Teanga, Rhodri Glyn Thomas (President of the National Library of Wales) and Graham Fraser (Former Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada).
Pupils from the Welsh primary school, Ysgol Hamadryad, will welcome the commissioners and their officers to Wales as part of the conference.