International Council for Adult Education

General Secretariat: 18 de Julio 2095 /301 - CP 11200 - Montevideo, Uruguay -
Tel/Fax: (598-2) 4097982
E-mail: secretariat@icae.org.uy • Website: www.icae.org.uy

ICAE Seventh World Assembly Nairobi, Kenya, January 17-19, 2007

Adults' Right to Learn: Convergence, Solidarity and Action

ICAE's World Assembly is open to all ICAE members, Partners, friends as well as to all those networks aligned closely with the adult education and learning movements promoting Adults' Right to Learn.

The primary focus of this Assembly will be to provide a collective space to strongly affirm the right of all to learn throughout life and to assert the immense value of adult education and learning in enabling Citizens to fight poverty, inequality, discrimination and the exclusion of a big part of humanity. We find it fitting to organise our Assembly alongside the World Social Forum 2007: to demonstrate our solidarity with other social movements for change and to underscore the strategies importance of adult education in making another world possible.

The years since the last Assembly, in 2002, have clearly shown us the interconnectedness between Adult Education / Adult Learning and various efforts from other civil society networks. The Assembly will give us the opportunity to strengthen this involvement while at the same time analysing and improving the particular contributions that Adult Education / Adult Learning can make on the basis of their specificities and particular knowledge.

This World Assembly marks a return to Africa after 30 years: ICAE's first Assembly was convened in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania in 1976. We return at the beginning of the 21st. Century at the advent of a new African Renaissance with its promise to end violence, elitism, corruption and poverty in the African continent and to build a just and equitable order. This Assembly's return to Africa demonstrates ICAE's commitment to actively Support the daily struggles of the continent's people to build a better world that respects cultural diversity and where all women and men could live with dignity, in peace.

The Assembly is also a civil society preparatory event for CONFINTEA VI that will take place in 2009. It will provide as well the space for civil society organisations to prepare our input into the EFA mid term review, especially in relation to the adult education-related goals and targets, and in asserting the crucial role of adult learning in achieving the MDGs and other international social development targets the global Community committed to realize. The Assembly is envisaged to provide us with the opportunity to analyze and propose concrete ways of jointly influencing policy Spaces and events that are key for promoting adult education and learning.

Various commissions will be working during the Assembly to analyse the challenges to Adult Education and Adult Learning in the current global scenario, and to jointly explore strategic responses. These will also address particular issues identified by ICAE members and Partners during a Virtual seminar run by ICAE in April 2006. The topics commissions will be working on are:

  • HIV/AIDS, Health and Poverty
  • Environment, Ecology and Sustainable Development
  • Full and active citizenship: how much does AE contribute to processes of democratization?
  • Migration and Cultural Diversity: Where are we after Durban? How to foster the "Intersectionality" approach?
  • Adult Education and Solidarity Economy/Social Economy.
  • Adult Learners' Movement and Mobilization.
  • Adult Education: Organisation and Financing
  • Conflict Resolutions, Peace and Human Rights
  • Adult Literacy: a fundamental right

The deliberations of the commissions will be guided by common concerns with respect to equality, poverty eradication, gender justice, recognition of the particular needs and contributions of indigenous peoples, lesbians and gays, bisexual and transgender people, people with disabilities, migrants, women, youth, ethnic minorities, among other historically disadvantaged groups. The discussions are also expected to highlight the specific contribution of Adult Education / Adult Learning in overcoming various forms of discrimination in varied contexts. Moreover, each commission will be asked to discuss, within their given areas of concern, civil society input and interventions in critical global policy Spaces especially the upcoming CONFINTEA VI Conference in 2009, and the EFA and MDG mid-term review processes.

Each commission will be facilitated by a regional association or ICAE national member Organisation in cooperation with other ICAE members and Partners.

There will also be two plenary sessions addressing cross-cutting concerns:

  • Revisiting ICAE's advocacy work within the global and regional contexts. State accountability vis-ä-vis AE/Adult Learning. This debate will include looking at the weakness of the UN, the challenges towards CONFINTEA VI, etc.
  • Adult Education - culture or structure? or culture and structure? Where should the movement concentrate its focus - on embedding learning in the work of other social movements, or in a focus on structured learning? What risks and what possibilities lie with each strategy?

As a means to promote a better understanding of the reality of the host country and the particular work that some of our partner organisations are doing in Africa, there will be Spaces for structured as well as informal interactions with African organisations to coincide with the Assembly, including study visits, organised in cooperation with our Kenyan hosts.

The World Assembly will be preceded by the Regional African Assembly and will be followed, in the afternoon of the third day, by the General Assembly of ICAE, devoted to ICAE governance and Constitutional matters.

You can join in the preparatory process of the Assembly though the Com-missions that have been formed for the preparation of each topic:

Commissions and organisations responsible:

Workshops jointly organized with our partners and alliances:

UBUNTU - "In-depth Reform of the System of International Institutions" GEO/GCAP (Feminist Task Force) - "Gender, poverty and education" IANGO - "Accountability and Transparency of International NGOs"

Please feel free to distribute this Information broadly and we look forward to your participation at the World Assembly!

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