Second Meeting of the CONFINTEA VI Consultative Group

The Consultative Group (CG) is UIL's advisory committee on the preparation for CONFINTEA VI. The group met for the first time in Helsingor, Denmark, in March 2007. The second meeting at UIL, Hamburg, concentrated on reviewing the overall preparation with a special focus on finalizing the guidelines for national reports, discussing a thematic structure and a research-based report on adult education, and planning the regional preparatory conferences.

Among the challenges that CG members discussed was the fact that CONFINTEA VI, scheduled for May 2009 in Brazil, will be held with three other major international UNESCO conferences, two of them proceeding and one following it, namely the International Conference on Education (ICE) in Geneva (November 2008), the International Conference on Education for Sustainable Development in Bonn, (April 2009) and the World Conference on Higher Education in Paris (July 2009). Effective coordination will be necessary to channel allrelated preparatory efforts while ensuring synergies between the conferences and their respective themes and securing adequate funding.

Regarding the preparation of CONFINTEA VI national reports, the CG helped finalize the guidelines prepared by UIL. The intention is to focus on the developments in adult learning and education since CONFINTEA V, and on new, globally relevant issues and concerns that have emerged since then. Providing member states with guidelines, rather than a questionnaire, UIL aims to make reporting easier for them while also providing flexibility and space for essential information. The guidelines include clear recommendations that countries involve a range of stakeholders (different government ministries, civil society and NGOs, university and the private sector) in their countries in preparing the report, and encourage national debates as well as a national validation process. In this way, the preparation of the report can be a mechanism for creating open debates and raising relevant issues. The guidelines have meanwhile been sent out to the UNESCO National Commissions.

The discussions in the CG generated a thematic structure to guide CONFINTEA VI and the preparatory phase. It comprises a set of lenses with which to explore and analyze the field of adult learning and education and to provide answers to related questions. These include context and challenges, relevance, quality, policies, conditions and structures, and the way forward for ALE and the CONFINTEA agenda. A Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE) will be produced as an input to CONFINTEA VI, based on findings from the national reports and regional assessments, and also incorporating specific and focused studies.

Preparations for the Regional Preparatory CONFINTEA VI Conferences have begun. The provisional dates and locations are as follows: Kenya for Africa (first week of August 2008), Mexico for Latin America and the Caribbean (10-13 September 2008), the Republic of Korea for Asia/Pacific (17- 22 November 2008), and Hungary for Europe (3-6 December 2008). The location for the regional conference for the Arab States has yet to be decided (January 2009). For the complete report of the CG click here.

Contact: Bettina Bochynek

Additional Information:

Report of the Second Meeting of the CONFINTEA VI Consultative Group (November 2007, Hamburg)
Report on the First Meeting of the Consultative Group (March 2007, Helsingor)