CONFINTEA, the International Conference on Adult Education, takes place every twelve years under the aegis of UNESCO. The last global conference, CONFINTEA VI, was held in Belém, Brazil in 2009. This closed with the adoption of the "Belém Framework for Action", which, together with the "Recommendation on Adult Learning and Education", adopted in 2015 at the 38th Session of the UNESCO General Conference, provides a guide for adult learning on a global scale.

"The planet will not survive unless it becomes a learning planet."

Adult learning is a key element in the global effort to eradicate poverty, to promote fairer societies and to further the quest for sustainable development. Men and women who are well-trained and ready to broaden their knowledge and skills on a lifelong basis are taking control of their lives, becoming involved in their communities and participating in the sustainable development of their societies.

As far as teaching is concerned, priority is given to literacy and basic skills, active citizenship, skills that can further  employment and economic development, and health education, well-being and sustainable development.

The mid-term review of CONFINTEA VI held in Suwon (South Korea) on 25, 26 and 27 October 2017 examined the progress made in implementing the Belém Framework for Action. That examination was based on national reports, grouped together at continental level (sub-Saharan Africa, the Arab States, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, North America, Latin America and the Caribbean) and synthesised at global level.

The five areas of action examined are the political engagement of the States concerned, effective governance, the financing of programmes, promoting access to training and increasing participation therein, and improving the quality of adult learning and education provision.

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