The resolution was tabled by Bangladesh at the initiative of the then Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina. The genesis of the historic language movement which ensued since Sep. 1947 with the students in the vanguard backed by intellectuals, cultural activists, and patriotic elements was the first part spurt of Bengali nationalistic upsurge culminating in the sanguinary events of February 21,1952,and finally leading to the war of Liberation in 1971.
The proposal of Bangladesh was placed in the plenary of the UNESCO at its headquarters in Paris in Nov. 1999.The resolution was supported by : Benin,Bhahama, Comoros,Chili, Dominic Republic, Egypt, Gambia, Hondurus, Italy, Iran, Micronesia, Oman, The Philipines, Papua, Paraguay, Russian Federation, Srilanka, Saudi Arabia, Surinam, Slovakia, Vanuatu,Indonesia, India, Ivoricoast, Lithuania, Malayasia.
The UNESCO had proclaimed 21st February as the International Mother Language Day to be observed globally in recognition of the sacrifices of the martyrs for establishing the rightful place of Bangla. The proclamation came in the form of a resolution unanimously adopted at the plenary of the UNESCO . In its resolution the UNESCO said : 21st February be proclaimed as International Mother Language day through out the world to commemorate the martyrs who sacrificed their lives on this very day in 1952. Henceforth in the new Millennium 188 countries around the world would observe 21st February as International Mother Language day.