In November 2013, the UNESCO General Conference decided that the 1976 UNESCO Recommendation on the Development of Adult Education should be revised to reflect contemporary education, cultural, political, social and economic challenges, as set out in the Belém Framework for Action, which was adopted by the Sixth International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA VI, 2009) in Brazil. The Draft 2015 UNESCO Recommendation on Adult Learning and Education was prepared on the basis of comments and observations provided by forty-seven UNESCO Member States on a working draft.
UNESCO Recommendations are not binding and do not stipulate specific rights or duties. Rather, they define principles and norms for the international regulation of specific issues, and they invite UNESCO Member States to take appropriate legislative steps. The new UNESCO Recommendation on Adult Learning and Education (2015) refers to the concept of lifelong learning and underlines the overarching aim of adult learning and education, which is to ensure that all adults participate in society and in the world of work. The Recommendation takes into account the three key domains of adult learning and education:
- Literacy and basic skills
- Continuing training and professional development
- Education and learning opportunities for active citizenship – variously known as community, popular or liberal education – that aim to empower people to engage with a wide range of social issues
UIL promotes the implementation of the UNESCO Recommendation on Adult Learning and Education in Member States and provides regular monitoring through UNESCO’s Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE).