THE ROLE OF LANGUAGE IN THE GLOBAL QUEST FOR SUSTAINABILITY
The quest for sustainability intensifies as the world grapples with challenges from all fronts, including the massive threats arising from the Covid 19 Pandemic. With nine years to go to “end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity”, the world shoulders a huge challenge to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nation in 2015. While it does not have a dedicated goal in the SDGs, language plays a significant role in creating, stating, interpreting, understanding, executing and evaluating the sustainable developmental goals. However, so far, language only occupies the periphery of the development decision making realm, and in many ways, the absence of language on development discourse is viewed as a significant obstacle to progress. There is a need for stakeholders to deeply reflect on the relationship between language and development especially within the contexts of the SDGs. This conference aims to explore issues in language and development to recommend how applied linguistics and its sub-branches can contribute towards sustainable development such as in policy making and practice to promote quality education, healthy living, transmission of knowledge and heritage, peace and inclusive societies, industrializations and innovations, effective implementation and revitalisations of global partnerships. It also aims to promote discussions on language diversity and multilingualism, language loss, and language inclusion in all spheres of communication in order to create a movement for international cooperation especially in the Asia Pacific region to identify strategies to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs .