New Delhi: Highlighting that efforts are on to get Hindi recognized as an official language at United Nations, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday said that though progress has been made in that direction it will take some time. "You would know Hindi is being used in United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). As far as the use of Hindi in its headquarters is concerned, we have an MoU with them, they are using it in social media and newsletters. It will take some time in expanding this. It is not so easy that a language is introduced in the UN process," Jaishankar said at an event in New Delhi.
"Work is being done on it, progress has been made and it is our expectation that this will move forward," he added.
External Affairs Minister Jaishankar also launched the logo and website of Vishwa Hindi Diwas along with V. Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs and Permanent Secretary for Fijian Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts Anjeela Jokhan. Fiji will be hosting the 12th World Hindi Conference next year from February 15-17, 2023, the Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said at the event.
Speaking at the event, Anjeela Jokhan said that Fiji is privileged to be the first country in the Pacific to host the prestigious event and hailed the partnership with India.
"We are honoured to have been nominated by the Indian government as the next year's host for the World Hindi Conference as this platform will provide us with a wonderful opportunity to promote and celebrate Hindi, one of our country's main languages. Indeed, Fiji feels blessed and privileged to be the first country in the Pacific to host this prestigious event," said Fijian Secretary Anjeela Jokhan.
"We will do our best to make this conference a grand success. Fiji Hindi is in fact enshrined in the Fiji Constitution as one of our official languages. Not only this we also teach Hindi in our primary and secondary schools. While it is compulsory for students of Indian origin in primary schools, it is an optional subject in secondary schools. Hindi is also taught in our universities," she added.
Jokhan noted that the partnership with the government of India has grown from strength to strength over the past 52 years and the people of our nations have been deeply enriched through our bilateral interactions and engagements. The official added, "Our two nations have an undeniable bond which can be seen in mutual understanding and respect that we have for each other's sovereignty, common development and shared prosperity."
"It is based on our shared history which is rooted in age-old ties of culture. In Fiji, we have a very cordial relationship with the High Commission of India that enables us to celebrate together many events such as Yoga Day, World Hindi Day, and so forth. In fact, in 2020 we held Regional Hindi Conference in Suva", she continued saying.
Further highlighting the contribution made by the Fijian scholars towards developing Hindi, she said that the country looks forward to hosting the event. "With a significant portion of our population having Indian heritage, we have worked together to ensure the protection and promotion of our languages, traditions, and culture. We are proud to say that Fijian scholars have made a contribution towards developing Hindi not just in Fiji but across the world via the Fijian diaspora."
Fiji looks forward to hosting this event from February 15-17, 2023, she highlighted and said, "We look forward to hosting this significant event in our country. We know that we will receive the Indian diaspora from a number of nations and this will give our people the opportunity to develop networks and friendship."
The three-day conference would be held in the Fijian city of Nadi.