Achieving sustainable development through learning cities: Cork Call to Action

7 December 2017

The Cork Call to Action for Learning Cities and Learning Cities and the SDGs: A Guide to Action, the two outcome documents of the 2017 International Conference on Learning Cities, have now been published and are available in English, French and Spanish. This year’s conference, themed ‘Global goals, local actions: Towards lifelong learning for all in 2030’, was hosted by the city of Cork, Ireland, from 18 to 20 September 2017. The two documents outline the crucial role that cities and local communities can play in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This role of cities empowers people to realize their full potential in life.

‘It is time to unlock the full potential of cities and local communities as the key drivers of individual empowerment and to recognize that lifelong learning supports the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals at the local level’ said Kabir Shaikh, Director a.i. of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, in opening the event.

The documents identify concrete targets and actions for promoting education and lifelong learning for all. Through the Cork Call to Action for Learning Cities conference participants also called upon national governments to afford cities the necessary conditions and resources to implement successful lifelong learning strategies. UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC) members were determined to progress from rhetoric to practical action in order to harness the full potential of their citizens and benefit future generations.

Other highlights from the event included the presentation of the UNESCO Learning City Award 2017 and the launch of a number of important resources, including video tutorials on How to build a learning city, an online database of GNLC members, and a publication profiling the 2017 Learning City Award recipients.

The resources launched at the conference and its outcome documents will support cities in striving to make quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all a reality by 2030.