Second Meeting of the CONFINTEA Advisory Group
Following the CONFINTEA Regional Follow-up Meeting for Latin America and the Caribbean (25-27 May 2011), the second meeting of the CONFINTEA Advisory Group was held on 28 May in Mexico City. The Advisory Group was constituted by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) at the beginning of 2010 as a mechanism to guide and support UNESCO in the CONFINTEA follow-up process. Its first meeting took place at UIL in March 2010, and resulted in the proposal from Mexico, a member of the Advisory Group, to host the first Regional CONFINTEA Follow up Meeting and also to host the second session of the CONFINTEA Advisory Group in Mexico City.
25 representatives of governments, international stakeholder organisations (Association for the Development of Education in Africa/ADEA, Organisation of Ibero-American States/OEI, International Council for Adult Education/ICAE, dvv international, Global Learners’ Network) and UNESCO (Headquarters, Regional and Field Offices and Institutes) participated in the meeting. The Advisory Group members shared with each other the activities undertaken in their countries or organisations in following up the CONFINTEA agenda and discussed the outcomes of the preceding days. As a major outcome of the Advisory Group meeting, the Advisory Group gave advice on the draft questionnaire prepared by UIL in consultation with several stakeholders for the first national post-CONFINTEA progress reporting – the GRALE 2012.
Several participants reported that they had translated and widely disseminated the Belém Framework for Action in their national languages. They had also organised national and cross-national events with the same purpose. In Brazil a summary version of the Framework was made available to Parliamentarians and Ministries. A joint meeting of Morocco and Mauritania adopted resolutions for specific CONFINTEA follow-up actions. In Africa, ADEA and the UNESCO Regional Office have teamed up to develop a number of activities in line with CONFINTEA VI recommendations. While many efforts to advance adult education in Latin America and the Caribbean are in progress, it was argued that there is a need for better coordination. The regional implementation and monitoring matrix with concrete action points resulting from the Regional CONFINTEA Follow-up Meeting were cited as representing a move towards a more coordinated implementation of the Belém Framework for Action.
Regarding next steps in monitoring the Belém Framework for Action, possibilities for regional follow-up meetings in other regions were discussed, with concrete proposals emanating for the Arab States, Africa and Asia/Pacific, which will be further explored and confirmed. In addition, partnerships, networks and cooperation projects across regions and harmonisation with other initiatives such as the Literacy Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE), the E-9 agenda and the Millennium Development Goals will play an important role in the overall monitoring process. Participants agreed that the road map should be updated, with forthcoming activities and events.
The feedback generated by the meeting on the draft questionnaire for the first post-CONFINTEA follow-up and the overall monitoring process was highly appreciated. UIL will use these comments to enrich the draft questionnaire to be presented and discussed in the forthcoming meeting the Editorial Board of the post-CONFINTEA Global Report of Adult Learning and Education (GRALE).
The outcomes of the meeting include the discussion of concrete proposals for joint action such as the establishment of a regional observatory of communication and cooperation to implement and monitor the Belém Framework for Action in Latin America and the Caribbean, to use upcoming regional and international events such as the Iberoamerican Forum for Permanent Education to make a case for adult education and lifelong learning, to provide platforms for the voice of the learners by, for example, requesting each Member State to nominate a “Learners’ Ambassador”, to create a network of universities which focus on lifelong learning, and to organise regional or sub-regional networks and meetings to follow up on the CONFINTEA VI process.