The mission of the UNL Programme is to develop and promote a multilingual communication platform/infrastructure, with the purpose of enabling all peoples to share information and knowledge in their native languages. To this end, the UNL Programme invites all individuals and institutions to a collective endeavor of building the UNL infrastructure of the scientific, cultural, social and economic resources generated by peoples from many different languages, and of making them available to the global community. Information of how to participate in is given at UNL website (www.undl.org) under UNL Society.
The UNL Programme was launched in 1996 in the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) of United Nations University (UNU) in Tokyo, Japan. From the very beginning, a global-scale network of R&D teams, involving specialists in computer science and linguistics, have been at work creating the linguistic resources and developing the software of the UNL System. Under the direction of the UNL Center, a consortium of the university department and research institutes around the world have been developing UNL Language Centers for the respective native languages.
In January 2001, the United Nations University set up an autonomous organization, the UNDL Foundation, to be responsible for the development and management of the UNL Programme. The Foundation, a non-profit international organization based in Geneva, Switzerland, with the core research and development organization UNL Center of the Foundation based in Tokyo, inherited from the UNU/IAS the mandate implementing the UNL Programme and of bringing it to fulfill its mission.
Reaffirming in the terms of the Charter of the United Nations and it ideals of promoting the human survival, development and welfare of all people;
Considering the deepening gap among nations and communities resulting from unequal opportunities for sharing information and knowledge, hence to participate in cultural and economic development may hinder global peace and welfare;
Considering the potential contribution of the Universal Networking Language (UNL) to close the gap and foster scientific, cultural, social and business exchanges among peoples, hence its usefulness in promoting the principles, purposes and action programmes of the United Nations, UNESCO, and all other international organizations and their member states;
Considering the creation by the UNU/Institute of Advanced Studies of the Universal Networking Language Programme (UNLP) with the purpose of providing with the necessary structural and operational conditions for full development and deployment of the UNL;
Considering the decision of the Board of the UNU/Institute of Advanced Studies to create the UNDL Foundation with the special mission of, a full responsibility for, carrying on the development and deployment of the UNL, in particular for managing the Universal Networking Language Programme (UNLP),
The Universal Networking Language Programme (UNLP) shall be revised so as to reflect the new institutional framework as follows:
Article I. Purposes and Activities
- The UNLP shall be concerned with the development and promotion of a multilingual communication and information platform that can provide equal opportunities for all peoples to share, access, and exchange their scientific, cultural, social and economic resources. The UNLP shall be a network of people engaged in the common endeavor of promoting the understanding, dialogue and peace among nations and making available to the global community the human knowledge generated by peoples of different languages.
- Specifically, the UNLP shall undertake, inter alia:
- Research and development on a common interface between and among natural languages, including tools for enconverting and deconverting languages into and from UNL, bilingual dictionaries, the enhancement of the UNL system, and the developments of applications to specific domains;
- Establish and mange the network of language centres, national units, technical committees, and other forms of collaborative work with partners associated with the UNL system the view of developing the UNL interface with specific languages and increase homogeneity of the system;
- Cooperate with other research and development institutions and promote active interaction with the providers and provide support and training and assistance to partners interested in the developing components of the UNL system and related tools;
- Promote scientific and technical conferences, workshops, symposia and seminars;
- Support the UNL Society in its objective and activities and support the users of UNL services;
- Undertake any other initiative that may be suitable and proper for the attainment of UNLP purposes.
Article II. The UNL System
The UNL system consists of the following components:
Universal Networking Language, which consists of the UNL relations, UNL attributes, Universal Words (UWs) and the UNL Knowledge Base.
The DeConverter, the EnConverter, the Dictionary System and the Language Servers based on these software.
A set of network system procedures to access the components in a) and b).
Article III. Organization
- The UNLP shall have a flexible and agile network of persons and institutions and provide the framework for collective endeavor involving multiple partnerships under the direction and sponsorship of the UNDL Foundation. The UNLP network shall consist of:
- The UNL Center (ULC) which shall undertake the direction, programming, co-ordination, technical support, financing, of research and developent of the overall UNL system;
- The UNL Language Centers (LC) which shall assist the UNL Center in the programming, co-ordination, support, financing, Development and training of given language;
- The UNL National Units (NU) which shall cover the UNL operations within the geographical boundaries of a given country;
- Permanent Committees (PTC) which shall advise on matters of quality conditions of the UNL system and the UNLP operations;
- Ad hoc working groups and other temporary units or services, may be established as required.
Article IV. Role of the President of the UNDL Foundation
- The President of the UNDL Foundations, in accordance with the Board, shall have the overall responsibility of the UNLP, and shall:
- Formulate principles and policies which shall govern the activities and operations of the UNLP;
- Appoint the Directors of the UNL Center, LCs and NUs and PTC;
- Issue directions and recommendations within the framework of the present Statute and adopt procedures as may be necessary for its application;
- Decide upon the setting up or incorporation of new LC and NU to the UNLP, and on the location of the UNL Center;
- Approve the work programme and the budget of the UNLP on the basis of proposals submitted by the Director of the UNL Center;
- Consider reports of the Director of the UNL Center and on the execution of its plans of work;
- Take whatever measures necessary for the effective functioning of the UNLP;
- Submit to the Board amendments to the present Statute.
- The President of the UNDL Foundation shall consider the methods of financing the UNLP with a view to ensure the effectiveness of its operations, their continuity and expansion. He shall also consider the various kinds of arrangements under which institutions and individuals may be associated with its work, and ensure that they meet the highest academic standards.
- The President of the UNDL Foundation shall ensure that the UNLP has adequate resources so that the academic staff, equipment and working conditions meet the highest standards for research, development and training.
Article V. UNL Center
The UNL Center shall have the overall responsibility for promoting and coordinating the UNLP and, in particular, the development and maintenance of the UNL system. This shall include, among other functions, fostering the technical performance of the UNL system and setting up an infrastructure to make it operational.
- Specifically, to foster the technical performance, the UNL Center shall:
- Develop, maintain and enhance the components of the UNL system and ensure their technical operability;
- Provide the set of UNL system documents and tools to the various UNLP members and partners, manage its use, and provide technical assistance and training;
- Programme and plan subjects of research and development of common interest for the improvement of the UNL system and conclude contracts for research and training activities;
- Promote exchanges of scholarly, scientific and technical ideas and information within and outside the UNLP community.
- To set up an operational infrastructure, the UNL Center shall:
- Promote the UNLP network, create and coordinate the work of the LCs, NUs, PTC and Working Groups, and incorporate the work of other partners associated with UNLP;
- Direct and co-ordinate the research on languages not covered by any LC;
- Serve as depository of information regarding the expertise available on subjects of relevance to the work of the UNLP and maintain an up-to-date roster of qualified scholars in the field of research of Natural Language, Linguistics and Computer Science, and assist UNL Language Centers in finding competent scholars as necessary.
Article VI. Director of the UNL Center
- The Director of the UNL Center (the Director) shall be appointed by the President of the UNDL Foundation as the chief academic staff of the UNL Center, and shall have overall responsibility for the direction, organization, administration and programme of the UNLP.
- The Director shall manage the UNL Center in accordance with the general policies and criteria formulated by the President of the UNDL Foundation. The President of the UNDL Foundation shall determine the conditions and terms of service of the Director of the UNL Center. These shall include, inter alia:
- Managing the overall UNLP programme in accordance with the approved budget, initiate the expenditures provided in the budget approved by the President of the UNDL Foundation;
- Managing the UNL Center with a view to achieving mission and objectives of the UNLP and direct the staff of the UNL Center and the activities connected with the execution of the global research, development and training programmes;
- Submit the plan of work, the budget estimates and performance reports of the UNLP to the President of the UNDL Foundation for his consideration and approval, after consultation with the Directors of Language Centers;
- Recommending to the President of the UNDL Foundation the creation of LC and NU and the appointment of personnel of the various functions within the UNLP;
- Establishing ad hoc working groups as necessary, and inviting partnerships including where appropriate with public and private organizations particularly concerned with the activities of the UNLP;
- Making arrangements with public and private organizations and individuals with a view to offering and receiving services related to the activities of the UNLP;
- Coordinating the research, development and training programmes in the UNL Center in collaboration with the Language Centers and other research and development programmes of the world scholarly community.
Article VII. UNL Language Centers.
- A LC shall represent the UNL Centre in a specific language and assist the UNL Center in the programming, co-ordination, support, financing, research and training of the overall UNL system. A UNL LC shall be considered as an expansion of the UNL Center for a given language, and shall be responsible for the research, development and maintenance of the UNL system in that language;
- A Language Center shall be a public non profit entity established according to the legal framework of the country where it is located, and shall comply with the technical, staffing and administrative and other conditions specified by the UNL Center.
- The creation and their incorporation of an LC into the UNLP shall be decided by the President of the UNDL Foundation upon the proposition of the Director of the UNL Center;
- There will be only one LC for each language;
- A Language Center may cover more than one Language in the case when the linguistic characteristics of these languages are similar;
- To be eligible, a given institution shall meet the technical and administrative standards specified by the UNL Center.
- A LC shall be under the authority of a Director, who shall perform the following duties:
- Manage the LC, including personnel, budget, research and operational activities, in the framework of the directions and plans of the UNL Center;
- Collaborate with the Director of the UNL Center, in the co-ordination of programmes of research and development as well as training of the UNL system as a whole, and in particular in the languages under its responsibility;
- Represent the UNLP before governments, institutions and any kind of organization or private individuals in the geographical area of its location;
- Promote the UNL, respond to the public interest and technical requirements from partners and customers;
- Procure the necessary financial means for the support of the LC and UNLP operations.
- Report Annually and prepare quarterly reports of the activities of the LC to the UNL Center;
Article VIII. UNL National Unit
- When necessary, National Units shall be established by the President of the UNDL Foundation, upon submission by a LC to the Director of the UNL Center and after the satisfying the conditions established by the UNDL Foundation.
- A National Unit shall facilitate the coordination of the development UNL system and the assistance to its users in a given country. It shall provide technical support and manage the relationships with users and the public within the geographical boundaries of a given nation.
- National units shall:
- Work in close articulation with the LCs;
- Provide technical information and support by using all of the available resources of the organization;
- Report annually to the Language Center that operates on the geographical area where the Language Center operates.
Article IX. UNLP Committees and Working Groups
- Permanent Committees shall serve the UNLP in advisory capacity and assist the Director of the UNL Center to perform specific functions of the UNLP. There shall be two initial permanent committees as follows:
- The UNL Technical Committee shall be concerned with the technical specifications and quality performance of the UNL system and shall ensure that it covers new languages, new corpora and new environment;
- The UNL Validation Committee shall be concerned with the assessment on the compliance of each and every part of the UNL system and products based on the UNL system or for the UNL system made inside or outside the UNLP with the technical specifications of the UNL system
- The following ad hoc Working Groups shall be established by the UNL Center:
- The UNL Networking Working Group shall work on how to utilize the UNL System through any kind of network.
- The UNL Tools Working Group shall provide tools to use and maintain the UNL system.
- The UNL Resources Working Group shall integrate the current dictionaries and corpora and provide new dictionaries and corpora.
Article X. Personnel of the UNLP
- The professional and support staff of the UNLP shall be selected in accordance with the principles of efficiency, competence and integrity of the UN and with a view to achieving the highest performance of the UNL system.
- The UNLP personnel shall be composed of:
- The Director and staff of the UNL Center;
- The LC Directors and staff;
- Members of the Permanent Committees and Working Groups;
- Personal of the National Units;
- The professional and supporting staff contractually associated with the UNL system
- The contractual regime and work assignment shall be established in accordance with the provisions of the Statutes of the UNDL Foundation.
Article XI. Finance and budget
- The financial support for the UNLP shall be secured through contributions of various kinds, and through income derived from its operations.
- Contributions which may directly or indirectly involve an immediate or ultimate financial liability for the UNLP, or which involve a new activity not yet included in its programme, may only be accepted with the approval of the UNDL Foundation Board.
- The funds of the UNLP shall be kept in a special account to be established by the President of the UNDL Foundation, managed and audited in accordance with the United Nations practice.
- The funds of the UNLP shall be held and administered solely for the purposes of the UNLP. The President of the UNDL Foundation shall perform all necessary financial and accounting functions for the UNLP, and shall prepare and certify the annual accounts showing the status of the UNLP?s special account.
- The President of the UNDL Foundation shall prepare the budget estimates for the UNLP in a manner consistent with the United Nations practice, and shall be submitted to the Board for approval.
Article XII. Location
- The UNLP shall have its headquarters at the UNL Center in a place to by decided by the President of the UNDL Foundation, in consultation with the Director of the UNL Center.
- The current headquarters of the UNLP shall be at the premises of the UNDL Foundation in Geneva.
Article XIII. Status, authority and amendments
- The UNLP shall enjoy the legal status and programmatic flexibility provided by the UNU/IAS statute, adjusting them to nature of it s needs and operations.
- The present Statute may be complemented by Annexes, which shall define procedures, criteria and modalities for the application of statutory provisions. Such Annexes shall provide the necessary flexibility, effectiveness in managing of the UNLP. Amendments, revisions and additions in these Annexes shall be approved by the President of the UNDL Foundation.
- Adjustments to current UNLP structure and operations shall be introduced as the UNL system evolves, and a reformulation into a new organizational structure may be established as the UNLP expands.
- Amendments to the present Statute may be made by the President of the UNDL Foundation and submitted to the Board for approval.
Creation of UNL Language Centers.
- The UNL Language Centers shall be responsible for the research, development and maintenance of the UNL system for a given language. The LC also represents the UNL Center in dealing with the users of a specific language it covers. The UNL Language Centers are established according to the procedure specified below:
- All Language Centers will be created in an existing institution, or in a to-be-created entity, that demonstrates capacity to represent the UNL Center and to perform the functions atributed to the LC, both in technical and managerial matters;
- The creation and its incorporation into the UNLP shall be decided by the President of the UNDL Foundation upon the proposition from the Director of the UNL Center;
- To become a LC, candidate institutions shall apply to the UNL Centre. The application must describe the institutional, technical and human infrastucture necessary perform the functions described in #2. bellow;
- The UNL Centre will evaluate the application from the technical, management and financial capacity aspects;
- The application shall include a document with the specifications on, and availability of, the essential physical, financial and human resources, as well as administrative conditions, required for a LC:
- Financial Plan, each LC shall become financially self-supported. The UNL Center may consider providing a start-up support, when possible. Each LC shall provide to the UNL Center with the yearly accounting balance;
- Infrastucture facilities (physical space, offices, furniture, computers, connectivity, general services, and any other facilities necessary to the development of the LC functions;
- Human resources and organization of LC team. Background and know-how of its members;
- Administrative conditions, including juridical status of the institutions and of the LC, and the degree of operational autonomy of the latter.
- To become a Language Center, the institutions shall:
- have the technical capacity to develop components of the UNL system required for quality and maturity of the system in the specific language of its concern;
- assume the responsibility to maintain the language server of the language in question;
- assume the responsibility to have the necessary infrastucture to have the UNL system Web-site operative at any time;
- have the necessary means to have the technology transfer activities to the mebers of the UNL Society whose activity is related to the language in question.
- maintenance and adaptation of the UNL standars to the components of the language of its concern;
- ensure inclusion and expansion of the UW dictionary and the respective UNLKB and UNL-Language bilingual dictionary according to the needs;
- promote and diseminate the activities of the UNLP .