Esperanto and the United Nations: Challenges on Language and Cultures of the World – Rakoen Maertens

Polyglot Gathering publikigis antaŭ 5 monatoj


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Always been fascinated by the United Nations? Interested in international NGO work related to language policy? Curious to learn more about how international organisations think about language policy?
During the past four years I had honour to represent the Universal Esperanto Association (UEA) and the World Esperanto Youth Organisation (TEJO) at the United Nations and UNESCO. During this work, I have travelled around the world advocating for better language policies, but more importantly, raising awareness about the importance of language for intercultural understanding and peaceful collaboration. During this talk, you will hear my stories from the perspective of a representative of the Esperanto movement, including how I got involved in United Nations projects and exciting stories about events that happened in conferences all the way from Saudi Arabia to the UN HQ in New York. The goal is to leave you fascinated by the world of international diplomacy as well to give you insights on some of the larger challenges the UN and the international world faces on language and culture. It will provide a unique view on the inside of the United Nations, and on how you can get involved yourself.

Rakoen Maertens is pursuing his PhD in Psychology at the University of Cambridge (Downing College). As a member of the Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab, his research focuses developing a ‘cognitive vaccine’ against (COVID-19) misinformation. Next to his research, he focuses on depolarisation and intercultural understanding through his activities in the Esperanto movement. He is a representative of the Universal Esperanto Association (UEA) and the World Esperanto Youth Organisation (TEJO) to the United Nations, where he raises awareness of the role language and culture takes for understanding different people and collaborating in peace. He speaks Flemish Dutch, British English, Esperanto, and French.

This video was recorded at the Polyglot Gathering Online 2020 (


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