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The United Nations and Multilingualism

An essential factor in harmonious communication among peoples, multilingualism is of particular importance to the United Nations. By promoting tolerance, multilingualism ensures effective and increased participation of all in the Organization’s work, as well as greater effectiveness, better outcomes and more involvement.

Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish are the six official languages of the United Nations. English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat and are used in day-to-day professional exchanges (resolution 2 (I) of 1 February 1946).

Multilingualism Champions initiative

The General Assembly regularly emphasizes the importance of multilingualism, as a fundamental value of the Organization, in achieving the objectives of the United Nations.

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