Yeonsu to host the fifth International Conference on Learning Cities in 2021
Global health education and emergency response as key topic
UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC) member Yeonsu-gu, Republic of Korea, will host the fifth International Conference on Learning Cities (ICLC 5), which will take place in autumn 2021. The event will welcome education experts and representatives of the 229 members of the UNESCO GNLC to deliberate on the conference theme ‘Global health education and emergency response’.
David Atchoarena, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), explains: ‘Lifelong learning is a leading educational paradigm in Yeonsu-gu, a city that has shown remarkable engagement in the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities by taking part in international exchanges and collaboration to make lifelong learning a reality for citizens across the world. I am delighted to have Yeonsu-gu and the Republic of Korea as partners in hosting ICLC 5, and I look forward to fruitful exchanges on the topic of global health education and emergency response – themes that, in the current COVID-19 environment, could not be more relevant.’
The fifth International Conference on Learning Cities is an opportunity to explore how learning cities can promote health education and contribute to emergency responses, such as those established during the COVID-19 pandemic. With more than half of humanity living in urban areas, cities have a front-line role in responding to health crises. In addition, the ICLC 5 is a chance to take stock of the progress being made in connection with the network’s strategy for 2019–2021, and will provide a platform for the approximately 700 participants to share examples of best practice and lessons learned.
The President of the Republic of Korea, Mr Moon Jae-in, says that he is looking forward to welcoming UNESCO GNLC representatives from around the world: ‘To realize its motto, “Lifelong learning for all is our city’s future”, Korea has been an active partner in the UNESCO GNLC. Going forward, we will remain focused on finding ways to prosper together with the international community while learning from the extensive experiences of the Global Network of Learning Cities.’
The UNESCO GNLC has 50 active members in the Republic of Korea. ‘The COVID-19 crisis has reiterated the importance of inclusive and equitable lifelong education. Of the Korean learning cities in particular, Yeonsu-gu has played an exemplary role since joining the network in 2018,’ explains Yoo Eun-hae, the country’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education.
Ko Nam-seok, mayor of Yeonsu-gu, said, "As a leading educational city, Yeonsu-gu is designated as a lifelong learning city and a special education internationalization zone. Therefore, Yeonsu-gu has the best environment to discuss international issues such as education, environment, well-being, and respect for cultural diversity. Accordingly, Yeonsu-gu is receiving great support from many citizens for the fifth ICLC, which will be a place to share various cases of GNLC cities and seek cooperation in the face of a crisis in formal education. We in Yeonsu-gu look forward to establishing a new chapter of lifelong learning in the post-corona era with those involved in lifelong learning in Yeonsu-gu, 2021."
The UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC), coordinated by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, is an international policy-oriented network geared towards knowledge production and sharing, peer learning and capacity-building. UNESCO GNLC members benefit from sharing lifelong learning policies and practices with other cities in the network, developing and exchanging knowledge on key challenges and solutions, taking part in training initiatives, and participation in regional and global events.