Baku, Ganja and Gabala joined the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC).

Thanks to the initiative and joint efforts of the National Commission of the Republic of Azerbaijan for UNESCO, the Ministry of Education, the Permanent Delegation of Azerbaijan to UNESCO and the relevant executive authorities, on September 23, 2020 Baku, Ganja and Gabala joined the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities, the leading body of the UNESCO Lifelong Learning Institute.

It should be noted that Baku, Ganja and Gabala are the first Azerbaijani cities included in the Network.

On September 23, 2020, a video conference was organized by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning and the names of 55 cities from 27 countries that have just joined the Global Network of Learning Cities were announced.

David Atchoarena, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, warmly welcomed the new members of the Global Network and said he very much look forward to working with them looked on further advancing the goal of ensuring lifelong learning for all.

He also noted that the main criteria for joining the UNESCO GNLC is to effectively mobilize resources in all sectors to promote inclusiveness from primary to higher education, to promote family and community education, to facilitate employment and learning in the workplace, to expand the use of modern techniques in teaching and to encourage a culture of lifelong learning. To join the network, candidate cities must demonstrate a clear vision in order for providing lifelong learning opportunities for everyone in the community. At the same time, D. Atchoarena stressed that he believes that all three joined cities of Azerbaijan – Baku, Ganja and Gabala – will take their appropriate place in the international network based on the creation and distribution of knowledge, strengthening learning and skills on an equal basis, and will share their experience with other member cities.

The UNESCO GNLC is an international policy-oriented network geared towards knowledge production and sharing, peer learning and capacity-building. It brings together 230 cities from 64 countries. The Global Network members benefit from sharing lifelong learning policies and practices with other cities in the network, developing and exchanging knowledge on the key challenges and solutions, taking part in training initiatives, and participation in regional and global events.

Regardless of the level of development, cities will be able to benefit from the exchange of ideas through the Network, as the responses to the challenges they face may already be available in other cities.

Finally, it should be noted that within the framework of the Strategy for 2019–2021, the activities of the Network focus on 7 key priorities: education for sustainable development; equity and inclusion; educational planning, monitoring and evaluation; education for global citizenship; entrepreneurship; learning.

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