Edmonton secures place as Canada's first UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities member

OTTAWA, ON, Oct. 5, 2022 /CNW/ - Edmonton has become the first Canadian city to join UNESCO's network of top learning cities in the world. Edmonton joins network member-cities including Hamburg, Shanghai and Beijing as part of UNESCO's Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC), an international network of cities committed to fostering a culture of excellence and learning for all to enhance social inclusion, economic development and cultural prosperity.

"We are pleased that Edmonton is the first Canadian city to become a UNESCO Learning City, an international designation that recognizes its ongoing efforts and commitment to promote lifelong learning for all. The City of Edmonton fosters a culture of learning that promotes inclusive and sustainable development and growth for its citizens. In 2007, Edmonton also became one of the first member municipalities of the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities, a further reflection of their commitment to building an inclusive and sustainable city for all." - Roda Muse, Secretary General, Canadian Commission for UNESCO

''I warmly congratulate the city of Edmonton on becoming the first UNESCO learning city in Canada! With its strong commitment to lifelong learning, it provides quality learning opportunities for all across the community while addressing key issues such as poverty, gender equality, inequalities and climate action. The UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities will benefit from the great expertise the city contributes while in turn surely inspiring the further development of Edmonton as a vibrant learning city.'' - David Atchoarena, Director, UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning

As the northernmost big city in North America, Edmonton plays a key leadership role in provincial, national and international contexts as an inclusive centre of learning, innovation, creativity and technology. Becoming a member of this UNESCO network is a key example of this leadership and represents the culmination of years of dedication—across the community—to lifelong learning for everyone.

"As a community of learners, we celebrate this opportunity to connect with like-minded cities around the world. Our openness, cultural diversity and curiosity make Edmonton an excellent addition to the Global Network of Learning Cities. Our ambition is to attract a million more people over the coming few decades to our city of eager learners, energetically looking to embrace new ideas, emerging technologies, and ways of working and learning." - Mayor Amarjeet Sohi, City of Edmonton

This milestone builds on the City's current strengths and commitments to learning and development, including the Council-supported City of Learners initiative, which began in 2008 and has been under the stewardship of the Edmonton Public Library since 2013.

"The City of Edmonton brings its unique culture and commitment to this learning city initiative. With this membership, we celebrate our city's strong learning ecosystem that consists of partnerships across government, post-secondary institutions, school boards, arts organizations, not-for-profit organizations, private businesses and residents. We look forward to being members of this dedicated international network as our city continues to grow as a destination for learning and opportunity." - Andre Corbould, City Manager, City of Edmonton

In 2021 a community coalition was established, led by Mayor Sohi on behalf of the City of Edmonton. Community members include: the Edmonton Public Library; Edmonton's three school boards, including Edmonton Public Schools, Edmonton Catholic Schools and Conseil scolaire Centre-Nord; all eight of Edmonton's post-secondary institutions, including the University of Alberta, Concordia University of Edmonton, The King's University, MacEwan University, NAIT, NorQuest College, the Yellowhead Tribal College and regional partner, Athabasca University.

About the Global Network of Learning Cities

The new members of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities were announced in Paris by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning in September 2022. The Network connects education, training and cultural institutions and engaging a wide range of partners such as public-sector representatives, civil society organizations and employers is a key feature of UNESCO learning cities. They effectively mobilize resources in every sector to promote inclusive and quality learning, from basic to higher education. They revitalize learning in families and communities and facilitate learning for and in the workplace while extending the use of modern learning technologies.

For more information about Edmonton as a UNESCO Learning City and the community partners who have made this network membership possible, please visit www.edmonton.ca/learningcity and https://why.edmonton.ca/media-kit/edmonton-learning-city

SOURCE Canadian Commission for UNESCO


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