We, from all regions of the world, university-based adult educators, scholars and other specialists in the field of lifelong learning together with representatives of non-governmental organizations having begun working at the UNESCO International Conference on Adult Education in Hamburg, Germany, July 14-18, 1997, and now meeting at the Department of Adult and Continuing Education and Extension of the University of Mumbai in Mumbai, India April 21-23, 1998 in order to prepare for the World Conference on Higher Education: Higher Education in the 21st Century in Paris, in October of 1998,
Recalling the words of the Hamburg Declaration of July, 1997 of the UNESCO International Conference on Adult Education,
Adult education thus becomes more than a right; it is a key to the twenty-first century. It is both a consequence of active citizenship and a condition for full participation in society. It is a powerful concept for fostering ecologically sustainable development, for promoting democracy, justice, gender equity, and scientific, social and economic development, and for building a world in which violent conflict is replaced by dialogue and a culture of peace based on justice. Adult learning can shape the identity and give meaning to life. Learning throughout life implies rethinking of content to reflect such factors as age, gender equality, disability, language, culture and economic disparities.
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