The notion of sustainable development is now classic in the sense that it has been defined for a long time and that because of its conceptual richness, and its prospective aspect, it has lost none of its topicality.

The concept was formally defined in the report of the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development, the Brundtland Report, where the term first appeared in 1987.

"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Translated with

The idea is not as new as you first think. A semantic controversy over whether to speak of sustainable or sustainable development has existed since the second French translation where the Canadian publisher translated sustainable as sustainable1.

Advocates of the term "sustainable" rather than the word "sustainable" insist on the notion of sustainability defined as coherence between the Earth's long-term global needs and resources, rather than on the idea of seeking the limit to which the Earth will be able to feed humanity. However, the translation of the term by sustainable, rather than sustainable, can also be explained by old traces of the word in French. Indeed, we find the word support used in an environmental perspective as early as 1346, in Brunoy's ordinance, taken by Philippe VI de Valois, on the administration of forests, recommending "to support them in good condition". Thus in forestry the notion of cultivated forest subject to a requirement of sustainability, a perpetual renewal of the resource, capable of supplying a naval fleet, has existed in France for more than six centuries.

Translated with

Economists had already laid the foundations in the 1960s. This is the case, for example, of the French philosopher, historian and economist François Perroux, who in a chapter of his book L'économie du XXe siècle, published in 1961, chapter entitled "La notion de développement" explains as follows:

"The economist, asked: "What is development? "Development is the combination of the mental and social changes of a population that make it capable of growing, cumulatively and sustainably, its real global product. »

One wonders whether sustainability is not part of the very notion of development and that the term development should be sufficient in itself. The addition of the adjective "sustainable" is more of a communication problem than a theoretical question. It is therefore not appropriate to dwell on them.

So we're in the long run. The use of the idea of "needs" suggests that sustainable development must meet the basic material and cultural needs of the entire population, which is incompatible with the extension of precariousness and the extreme exaggeration of inequalities, and that development is not strictly material and is above all global.

In 1992, the Earth Summit in Rio, held under the auspices of the United Nations, formalized the notion of sustainable development and that of the three pillars (economic/ecological/social): economically efficient, socially equitable and ecologically sustainable development.

For its part, Unesco has established an indisputable link between plurilingualism and sustainable development in three fundamental documents.

Article 1 of the 2001 Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity states:

"Culture takes diverse forms across time and space. This diversity is embodied in the originality and plurality of identities that characterize the groups and societies that make up humanity. A source of exchange, innovation and creativity, cultural diversity is as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for life. In this sense, it constitutes the common heritage of humanity and must be recognized and affirmed for the benefit of present and future generations."

The themes chosen in 2018 for the International Mother Language Day, which takes place on 21 February each year, and the celebration of 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages, have themselves fully integrated sustainable development. Little mentioned in the many events relating to sustainable development, the linguistic dimension is really a hidden dimension.

The purpose of this conference is therefore, beyond these prestigious professions of faith, to bring out in all aspects of sustainable development the linguistic factor that is largely unknown.

 This call for papers explores the main avenues of research to be invested. But it is possible to go directly to the list of possible themes on page 6.