An African initiative that came out of the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis in November 2005, the Maaya Network aims to value linguistic diversity as a building block of unicity of human communications.

The representatives of the following organizations participated in the Tunis event –during which the Network was created— and/or at its official launch in Paris:

African Academy of Languages (ACALAN), Linguamón – Casa de les Llengües, Codice Idee per cultura SRL, E-Africa Commission du NEPAD, ENSTA, Funredes, Global Knowledge Partnership , GREF, SIL International, Linguasphere Observatory, Intlnet, ICVolunteers, Institut francophone des nouvelles technologies de l’information et de la formation (INTIF), Language Observatory, International Literacy Institute of the University of Pennsylvania (ILI), Multilingual Internet Names Consortium (MINC), Organisation Intergouvernementale de la Francophonie (OIF), RECLA, Thai Computational Linguisitcs Laboratory, Toile Métisse, UNESCO, Unicode IDN in Africa, African Union, International Telecommunication Union (UIT), Union latine (Direction terminologie et industries de la langue).

Maaya was officially launched at the occasion of the International Mother Language Day on 21st February 2006, in Paris, in the presence of the Director General of UNESCO. The members present at the meeting which took place on 22 and 23 February 2006 at the headquarters of UNESCO in Paris, elected as the first president and initiator of the World Network for Linguistic Diversity Mr. Adama Samassékou, of the African Academy of Languages.


Article 1: Name, headquarters and field of activity

The official name of the World Network for Linguistic Diversity is “Maaya” (hereafter “Maaya Network”). It is a non-profit association founded on the basis of articles 60 and following of the Swiss Civil Code provided the following Statutes do not foresees any other clause.

The headquarters of the Maaya Network is at 104, rue de Carouge, 1205 Geneva, Switzerland. It can be transferred to any other location based on the decision of the Executive Committee.

The activities developed by the Network are proprietarily focused on the valuing and promotion of the linguistic diversity.

Article 2 : Objectives of the Maaya Network

The objectives of the Maaya Network are to:

  1. Encourage civil society, the private sector, research institutions and NGOs, as well as governments and institutions to adopt and implement measures enhancing equitable multilingualism;
  2. Promote mother tongue based multilingual education that contributes to value the capacity of free linguistic and cultural expression of the community in order to guaranty both social and gender equality;
  3. Promote software localization and equal access of all languages to cyberspace;
  4. Facilitate the empowerment of language communities worldwide in developing and defending their own languages and its usage;
  5. Contribute to the creation and sharing of language resources;
  6. Observe the implementation of language policies, ensure technological monitoring and serve as a focal point for linguistic research projects.

Article 3: Structures of the Maaya Network

The instances, organs and working structures of the Maaya Network are:

  1. General Assembly
  2. Executive Committee
  3. Scientific Committee
  4. Consultative Committee
  5. Working Groups

1. The General Assembly is the supreme instance of the Network.

The General Assembly is comprised of all the members of the Maaya Network. It has to meet at least every two years. Meetings can also take place virtually.

Are of the responsibility of the General Assembly in particular to:

  • Ratify programmed activities of the Network, approved by its Executive Committee;
  • Approve the accounts presented by the Executive Committee;
  • Elect the members of the Executive Committee;
  • Approve the election of the President of the Network, upon request of the Executive Committee;
  • Approve the statutes and its amendments;
  • Decide about the dissolution of the Network.

2. The mission of the Executive Committee is to coordinate the Maaya Network.

Are of the responsibility of the Executive Committee in particular:

  • Approve the working plan of the Network for a period of a year;
  • Write the activity report of the preceding year;
  • Approve the budget of the Network;
  • Ensure the evaluation of the Network’s activities;
  • Decide about the creation or dissolution of a working group or about the launch of a new activity, based on the proposition of any Network member;
  • Designate a substitute for a given function within the Network, if the member of this function turns out to no longer be able to assure the function;
  • Keep up to date the internal rules of procedure of the Network;
  • Decide about the admission of new members;
  • Decide about the exclusion of members.

The Executive Committee is comprised of at least nine members, representing the institutions of the Network. The member of the Executive Committee are elected by the General Assembly, by simple majority, for a period of four years.

The members of the Executive Committee can be reelected.

The first Executive Committee of the Maaya Network, elected by the members present at the coordination meeting held in Paris from 22 to 23 February 2006 at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, with the mission to set up the official organs of the Network, is being reconfirmed at the present founding General Assembly approving the present statutes.

The first Executive Committee of the Maaya Network is comprised of the following entities:

  • African Academy of Languages (ACALAN)
  • Union latine
  • Funredes
  • SIL International
  • Linguasphere Observatory
  • Language Observatory
  • ICVolunteerss
  • Linguamón – Maison des langues
  • Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP)

The Executive Committee is comprised of the following members:

  • a President
  • a Executive Secretary
  • a Deputy Executive Secretary
  • a Secretariat
  • a Treasurer
  • other members of the Executive Committee

a) The President represents the Maaya Network. He is also responsible of the follow up of the Network’s activities and has the power of attorney. He is mandated to act in the name of the Network, in coordination with the Executive Committee and the Secretariat.

Le President is elected every four years by the Executive Committee, of which he is a member. He’s election is approved by the General Assembly.

The president can be reelected.

To be eligible for the position of the President, he must be part of the Network as a representative of one of the institutional members.

The Executive Secretary, the Deputy Executive Secretary, the Treasurer and the Secretariat are nominated upon the proposition of the President, among the Executive Committee members.

b) The Executive Secretariat is in charge of conducting under the supervision of the President the management of ordinary business being of the responsibility of the Executive Committee from which he receives the institutions and before whom he is responsible.

The responsibilities of the Executive Secretary are in particular to:

    • propose activities and a plan of action;
    • coordinate the Network’s activities;
    • make sure that the decisions taken by the Executive Committee and General Assembly be implemented;
    • make sure that the calendar of activities be respected by the concerned members;
    • organize Network meetings, in collaboration with the host organization of the activity;
    • manage the funds of the Network;
    • and all other executive task of the Network.

c) The Deputy Executive Secretary acts in concretion with the Executive Secretary and suppliant in case of unavailability of the former.

d) The Secretariat is the administrative body of the Maaya Network, under the responsibility of the Executive Secretary.

The responsibilities of the Secretariat are in particular:

    • Establish the minutes of the meetings;
    • Collect and distribute internal information of the Network among its interested members;
    • Make sure that the electronic conferences and other means of communications and information dissemination of the Network are correctly administered;
    • Transmit to the Executive Committee new member requests;
    • Keep up to date the member list of the Network;
    • And all other tasks related to the administration of the Network.

e) The Treasurer is in charge of keeping the accounting of the Network, or asking someone to do so under his control, submitting financial reports including the accounts of the past period as well as the provisional budget of the period to come.

3. The Scientific Committee is composed of independent experts —both members or non members— providing their advice once a year about the activities of the Network and upon request of the Executive Committee.

4. The Consultative Committee is composed of representatives of members institutions or non members co-opted by the Network and aims to support and define strategic points of the Network upon request of the Executive Committee.

5. The Working Groups will be created by the Executive Committee according to specific needs. They will concentrate in subjects and projects related to the programme of the Network.

All members of the Network can participate in the Working Groups.

The Working Groups must designate a coordinator in charge of the follow-up of activities of the group and the communication with the Network in order to inform the latter of about the activities and developments of the Group on a regular basis. The Network can dissolve or reorganize a Working Group that remained inactive for one year.

The Working Groups will be mentioned in the internal rules of procedure that will determine its functioning modalities.

Article 4: Members

The member of the Maaya Network are:

  1. Institutional Members belonging to the following categories:
    • Public and private non-profit institutions;
    • Governmental institutions;
    • International organizations;
    • Civil society institutions (NGOs, universities, associations, foundations, etc.).
  2. Last but not least, the Executive Committee can designate an honorary member. Honorary members can be institutions active in the fields of linguistic diversity or encourage the aims of the Network through other means.
  3. The nomination of a national or regional representative is decided by the Executive Committee of the Network. The task of national or regional representatives is to ensure the link between institutions within their zone of influence and to disseminate the results of the work of the Network in the given zone.
  4. The exclusion of a member is decided by the Executive Committee.

Article 5: Meetings

The Network foresees two types of periodic annual meetings (physical and virtual):

  • A General Assembly, to which all Network members are invited;
  • A coordination meeting, in which the Executive Committee members take part, the representatives of the Secretariat and the Working Group coordinators. The coordination meeting should precede the General Assembly, in order to all the bodies of the Network to allow its preparation.

Articles 6: Finances

The activities of the Network are financed by:

  • Subsidies
  • Donations and legs
  • Membership fees
  • Other income

Article 7: Financial responsibility of members

Only the funds of the Network cover the obligations and possible debts of the Network. The members of the Network, its organs, as well as the members of its organs do not personally assume any responsibility for possible debts or obligations of the Network.

Article 8: Amendments and dissolution

The present Statutes can be modified by the General Assembly by two thirds of the majority of the members present and represented. Any proposed amendment of the Statutes is communicated to the President and integrated in the agenda of the next General Assembly. The agenda has to be sent to the Network members at least two months prior to the meeting.

The amendments are adopted and enforced immediately.

In case of dissolution, decided by at least two thirds of the members present or represented at the General Assembly, one or several members of the Network will be nominated by the General Assembly in order to establish the modalities of cessation of the activities during the liquidation, if it takes place, of the assets of the Network.

In the event of the dissolution of the Network, a possible positive balance of funds will be transferred to an association of utility pursuing similar goals to those of the Network.

Article 9: Promulgation

All members of the Network must communicate in writing to the Secretariat, the confirmation of acceptance of the present Statutes, by the latest two months after their distribution by the Secretariat.

The present Statutes take effect two months after their sending by the Secretariat to all members of the Network.

Article 10: Internal rules of procedure

In order to establish mode of participation, vote, action, co-optation, presentation of reports, financing, etc., the Executive Committee must create Internal Rules of Procedure within the first year after the adoption of the present statutes and keep it up to date afterwards. Immediately enforced, the evolution of the Internal Rules of Procedure will be presented to the General Assembly.

The Statutes were adopted in Barcelona by the founding General Assembly on the 20th of February 2007 at 13h50.

[Signatures of]
Yoshiki Mikami, Executive Secretary
Adama Samassékou, President