On 28 January, the opening ceremony of the International Year of Indigenous Languages took place at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The event was attended by representatives of states, indigenous peoples, civil society, academia, the media, UN agencies, public institutions, and the private sector.
The Russian delegation was headed by the Head of the Federal Agency for Nationalities I.V. Barinov, who spoke at the high-level segment "The Role of Languages in Achieving the Sustainable Development and Peace Objectives". Thematic round tables on the preservation and development of languages were attended by Russian scientists, linguists, and representatives of small indigenous peoples.
At the gala concert, the musical numbers were presented by Russian singers Ragtyna Tymkal and Zara (UNESCO Actress of the World).
Russian companies Lukoil and Sakhalin Energy provided financial support for the event.
In 2016, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages in order to draw attention to the problems of the preservation and development of languages in the world.