The ministers resumed their meetings early Tuesday after Monday evening's session was disrupted by protesters demanding that member language Hindi be renamed Hindi-Urdu. The protesters' attempt to bring the issue to a floor vote was defeated by a coalition of English, seeking to retain its numerical advantage, and Chinese, whose delegates are rumored to fear that admitting Urdu might set a precedent which could allow Cantonese to gain a seat within the Chinese delegation.
The ministers' joint statement affirmed the basic strength of international linguistic trade, pointing out that apparent weaknesses in the German vocabulary and the continued massive failure of minor languages were adequately offset in the previous quarter by heavy borrowing of English lexical items into a number of smaller languages. While acknowledging that there remains some concern that Japanese and Indonesian are not doing enough to support their own linguistic development, the ministers jointly affirmed their belief that internationalization of languages is continuing at a steady rate.
The ministers further suggested that the continued expansion of Russian into post-Soviet language communities shows that the world's linguistic systems remain on an even keel, and that the world's remaining minor linguistic systems continue to be drawn along the path of progress by the major languages.
Alongside the vocal Urdu protesters were the customary representatives of French, who once again tried to gain access to the meetings, arguing on the basis of history that they should have a seat in the international body. However, this year's French protest went nearly unnoticed, as the Urdu delegation made an impressive disturbance with chants and songs supporting their cause.
In a related development, a parallel meeting of the Organization of Lexicon-Exporting Languages issued a statement hinting that the price of word exports would be held steady this year, as increased demand is expected to provide sufficient growth to satisfy the languages' home constituencies over the next 6 months. OLEL did, however, leave the door open to possible price increases, suggesting in the statement that the current prices would be allowed to hold "under conditions as we foresee them."
The ministers announced that their next scheduled meeting would be held in Toronto in March.