Seventh Annual Conference of the International Association of Language Commissioners

September 9, 2022

Bilbao, Basque Country – The International Association of Language Commissioners (IALC) concluded its seventh annual international conference and annual general meeting (AGM) today in Bilbao, Basque Country. The association had not met in person since before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“After more than three years apart, the conference and AGM were an occasion for members to reconnect and recommit to our mission to support and advance language rights, equality and diversity throughout the world,” said Raymond Théberge, Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada and outgoing Chair of the IALC.

During the two-day conference, the group held sessions and panels touching on a broad range of topics, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on language commissioners and language rights, the challenges and opportunities presented by social media, the role of official languages within the ombudsperson's functions, the challenges of fulfilling the language commissioner’s mandate, and the efficient management of investigations when dealing with outside pressures.

During the AGM, association members agreed to, as part of their next work plan, create an observer membership category to allow jurisdictions who may not meet defined membership criteria to still participate in IALC activities.

The AGM also saw the election of the Welsh Language Commissioner as Chair and Secretariat of the association for the upcoming year.

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