The UNESCO Associated Schools from Spain, at the General Assembly that took place in El Ejido, Almeria, in 2004, July 8,



-The Declaration and Integrated Framework of Action on Education for Peace, Human Rights and Democracy (UNESCO, 1995), in its Article 29 : “Respect for the educational rights of persons belonging to ... minorities, as well as indigenous peoples´ in order to foster understanding between communities and nations”. 

-The Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (UNESCO, 2001), in the Article 6 of the Action Plan: “The role that  languages should play in the field of education includes respect for the mother tongue, linguistic diversity at all levels of education and the promotion of multilingualism from an early age”.

-The Position Paper “Education in a multilingiual world” (UNESCO, 2003) that proposes three Basic Principles at its Guidelines for Language and Education for the twenty-first century:

         1-Mother Tongue Instruction (even in groups with different mother tongues, which should receive special help)

         2-Multilingual Education at all levels of education (with international support and assistance to developing countries to facilitate the development of freely accessible materials on language education in the electronic form and the enhancement of human capital skills in this area)

         3-Languages as an essential component of Inter-cultural Education (in order to gain a deeper understanding of other cultures),


Taking into account

-That there are more than 6000 different languages, half of them in serious danger of dying out.

-That there is an increasing need to find answers to the problem of international communication in a more and more interconnected  world, with increasing waves of emigrants that do not know the languages that are spoken in the countries of destination.

-That the World Federation of the Deaf published  under auspices of UNESCO a set of 1500 universal signs with the name of GESTUNO in 1975.

-That the simultaneous use of these universal signs and the spoken language provides people from different countries with an additional level for elementary communication.

-That this “simultaneous communication” technique, with universal signs, allows minority languages and/or mother tongues to be present in international meetings.

-That the widespread use of universal signs could help to improve the social integration of immigrants as well as deaf people.

-That the use of universal signs in school activities adds expressiveness and makes them more visually attractive , and it also facilitates the integration of deaf and immigrant students.

-That there are methods for the foreign language learning that use signs as a teaching resource for elementary levels.

-That the use of universal signs as a teaching tool for language learning allows us to find a common methodology for the introduction to any foreign language at an elementary level.

-That the necessary information to know and use the universal signs can be found freely on the Internet   (


For all the preceding reasons, the Assembly Decides

-To recommend the Associated Schools the introduction of universal signs into school activities.

-To propose that the Associated Schools  use universal signs as an additional communication tool for exchanges with schools in foreign countries, once they have been informed.

-To support the creation and edition of a World Anthology of Poetry concerning Human Values and written by all the schools from the different countries both in their original language and with universal signs.

-To ask the UNESCO-ASP Net International Co-ordination to spread these proposals to all the schools belonging to the net.

-To ask the local, regional, national and international authorities in education for their support to promote teacher-training activities that include the application of universal signs at the different teaching levels and subjects.