105th World Congress of Esperanto, Montreal, Canada, August 1-8, 2020

Theme. In the year 2020, the United Nations celebrates 75 years of work for peace and security, human rights, and sustainable development. In convening the 105th World Congress of Esperanto in Montreal, the Universal Esperanto Association will make the congress an occasion to examine the achievements, challenges, and future prospects of the United Nations.

Language. The International Language Esperanto has a worldwide following and is a fully functional language, used for all purposes. There are speakers in most countries of the world and well over two million people have some acquaintance with the language. It is used as a means of creating international solidarity, understanding, and cooperation, and also in numerous professional contexts. It has a considerable literature. There are well over a hundred international events in Esperanto annually.

Congresses. The World Esperanto Congresses began in 1905 and, apart from wartime interruptions, the Congresses have continued without a break ever since. They are occasions for meetings of numerous Esperanto organizations, scholarly lectures, artistic events, and other activities. Each congress has a particular theme. The 2018 congress addressed globalization; the 2019 congress examined the relationship between culture and the natural world. All business is conducted in Esperanto.

Participants. Most congresses bring together between a thousand and two thousand people, from fifty or more countries. They take place in all parts of the world – from Buenos Aires (2014) to Seoul (2017) to Lisbon (2018), and now to Montreal.

Treatment of the theme. In a series of plenary sessions and breakout sessions, the 105th Congress will consider the work of the UN from the perspective of its three major pillars, and also on the basis of a dialogue and opinion survey currently underway. Also in preparation is an Esperanto-language guide to the Sustainable Development Goals, written by Esperanto speakers from a range of countries and perspectives. This document will help give direction to the debate in Montreal.

Esperanto in international organizations. Esperanto has a long history with international organizations. It was given serious consideration by the League of Nations in the 1920s, and the achievements of the Esperanto movement in promoting international dialogue and understanding were recognized as early as 1954 by the UNESCO General Conference. The Universal Esperanto Association has consultative relations with both UNESCO and the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).  UNESCO’s journal UNESCO Courier is published in an Esperanto-language edition, and Esperanto por UN, a support organization for the United Nations, is active in working with the UN in New York, Geneva, and Vienna. UEA is a board member of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Status with the UN.

Prepared by Humphrey Tonkin, Coordinator of  the Congress Theme

Universal Esperanto Association Office for Liaison with the United Nations, 777 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017.  [1] 212-687-7041.  www.esperantoporun.org.