India Urges UN to Conduct Visitor Tours in Hindi

The United Nations offers tours in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean and Portuguese languages.


India has once again requested the United Nations to conduct its visitor tours in the Hindi language. Until now, UN has been offering these tours in 11 languages including its six official languages.

According to a report in IANS, this request was made by Deepak Misra, Minister in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN. He raised this issue in a meeting on Oct.19 on information issues, which was held by the General Assembly committee dealing with special political matters.

“The guided tour has been very popular with Indian tourists to New York and, as highlighted by our delegations last year. We urge the addition of guided tour in Hindi, India’s official language, to facilitate the tourists,” the agency quoted Misra as saying.

A brief statement of Misra on UN’s website quotes him as saying, “It was heartening to witness the expansion of United Nations guided tours in multiple languages.”

Currently, the United Nations offers tours in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean and Portuguese. The first six languages are recognized as the official languages of the UN.

Urging for the inclusion of Hindi as the language of visitor tours, Misra said, “Genuine multilingualism promotes unity in diversity and international understanding by recognizing the importance of communicating to the peoples of the world in their languages by bringing the common goals and ideals closer to the people.”

He also said that due to declining financial resources, the department has been constrained in carrying out its mandated tasks, especially in non-official languages. He emphasized that it must seek out innovative ways to raise resources beyond the regular budgetary allocations.

He asked the UN to publish its peacekeeping website in “the main languages” that are spoken in countries that contribute troops, the report said.

As per the report, visitor tours run between 45 minutes and an hour. It charges $22 for adults and $15 for students and seniors.

In these tours, one can view the Security Council and General Assembly Chambers and the exhibits. Except for them, the tour guides present an overview of important issues to the visitors. These issues are disarmament, peace and security, human rights and sustainable development.

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