Page last updated at 15:59 GMT, Monday, 9 November 2009

Jčrriais focus for major summit

Senator Terry Le Sueur
Senator Le Sueur hopes the summit will be useful and rewarding

Minority languages will be the focus of a British-Irish Council (BIC) summit in Jersey.

Further details about the conference have been revealed, but the venue is being kept secret for security reasons.

First ministers, chief ministers and ministers from eight jurisdictions will hear more about the importance of Jersey's traditional language Jèrriais.

Jersey last hosted a BIC summit in 2002, which was attended by Tony Blair, the then UK prime minister.

The council incorporates the Scottish government, the Welsh Assembly, the Irish government, Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, the Northern Ireland executive and the British government.

The group aims to improve relations between the countries and islands.

'Excellent opportunity'

Deputy James Reed, Jersey's minister for education, sport and culture, will be addressing the summit on the place of Jèrriais in the island's identity.

He said: "I am pleased to be able to take part in this conference and look forward to speaking on how Jersey promotes its own minority language.

"Teaching Jèrriais to both children and adults is key to maintaining and the development of our unique cultural identity."

The BIC's minority languages group will meet again in Dublin in December and is due to examine the European charter for regional and minority languages.

Senator Terry Le Sueur, Jersey's chief minister, said: "I am delighted to be welcoming our BIC partners to Jersey, and I hope the discussions will be as useful and rewarding as they have been in previous years.

"These meetings provide an excellent opportunity for smaller jurisdictions like Jersey and Guernsey to play their part on an equal basis alongside larger countries like England and Scotland."

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