Decided as part of the Overseas Ministerial Plan, the “Estates General” are the highlight of the “French Year of Overseas”.

They will bring together some 250 participants from
French Guiana, but of all the overseas territories, metropolis and
third countries, with the aim of formulating general and
concrete proposals on topics as diverse as the use of
languages in social life, their «equipment», their transmission to school and
outside school, their place in cultural life and in the media.

In the outermost territories, the diversity of languages is
particularly rich: 28 languages practiced in New Caledonia, 19
languages commonly used in French Guiana of which 7 are foreign, 7 in
Polynesia… In Martinique, Guadeloupe, Réunion, Creole is a
essential component of citizens' cultural identity.

Of the 75 «languages of France» counted in 1999, about fifty
are commonly spoken in these territories, alongside French,
“language of the Republic” according to the Constitution.

Microcosm representative of all linguistic and
cultural diversity of other territories, Guyana - where are spoken (besides
Guyanese creole), 4 Anglo-Portuguese lexical Creole bushinenge,
6 American languages and one Asian language (Hmong) - has legitimacy
particular to welcome such a meeting.

The Estates General are jointly organized by the General Delegation
the French language and the languages of France of the Ministry of Culture and
Communication and Cultural Affairs Directorate of Guyana, with
support from the Regional Council, the European Social Fund and the National Centre
Space Studies (CNES).