Cork City will host the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Third International Conference on Learning Cities.
As the first European city to host this prestigious global conference, Cork will welcome over 650 participants from over 95 UNESCO member countries to Cork City Hall from Monday 18th to Wednesday 20th September 2017.
This bi-annual international conference is the third conference of its kind in which the theme of Global goals, local actions: Towards lifelong learning for all in 2030 will be at the heart of discussions. Conference delegates will include mayors, city education executives and UNESCO experts, along with international organisations, non-government organisations and private-sector partners who are experts in the field of lifelong learning.
Securing the conference was a competitive process, and a huge honour for Ireland to become the first European city to host this global discussion platform for Lifelong Learning. Cork has a long-standing record in developing education within the wider community and the success of its annual Lifelong Learning Festival is one of the aspects which Cork, as the host city, hopes to share with visiting delegates. The festival, which encourages citizens to investigate, participate in and celebrate learning, will act as a source of inspiration for other cities both within Ireland and internationally.
The International Conference on Learning Cities is an opportunity for the exchange of ideas, best practice for lifelong learning, the creation and strengthening of partnerships and the fostering of twin cities. It is also, and most importantly, a platform on which to build the future of learning cities. The first International Conference on Learning Cities took place in Beijing in 2013 and opened the global discussion on learning cities and defined the UNESCO concept of a learning city. The second conference took place in Mexico City in 2015 and was marked by the opening up of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC) to membership and defined the role of learning cities in achieving sustainable development. It was at this conference that Cork City received the Learning City award and joined the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities. The upcoming conference will focus on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, laid out by the United Nations in 2015, which include targets to end poverty, combat climate change and to fight injustice, inequality etc.
For more information on the UNESCO Third International Conference on Learning Cities check out the conference website www.learningcities2017.org