About APLC

Welcoming Message

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Good evening. I am Mun, Seok-jin, the chair of APLC founding committee. I am very happy to hold APLC foundation conference.
APLC member cities will be the platform for the sustainable development of learning cities that focusing learning as the driving force for cities growth and development. APLC will be working as a partner with the UNESCO International Institute of Lifelong Education (UIL), the UNESCO APCEIU, Institute for International Cooperation of the German Adult Education Association (DVV international), and the PASCAL(Place and Social Capital and Learning) International Observatory.
The APLC envisions the following major activities with the vision of "One Asia Pacific Learning Cities."
First, the creation and expansion of learning opportunities for citizens of all Asia-Pacific learning cities;
Second, strengthening political leadership, vision sharing and governance in Asia-Pacific learning cities;
Third, comprehensive and practical plan sharing and mutual cooperation;
Fourth, establishing clear step-by-step targets reflecting Asia-Pacific characteristics and strengthening strategies to focus on Asia-Pacific areas;
Fifth, establishment and implementation of strategies for solving specific tasks in the Asia-Pacific learning city;
Sixth, the development and sharing of policies, cases, projects among Asia-Pacific learning cities;
Seventh, positive influence on sustainable social/economic/cultural development from the strengthening of individual citizens in the Asia-Pacific learning city;
APLC aims to work together to create and expand the network to create action plans and master plans including mid- to long-term development plans. This requires active cooperation and participation of all APLC member cities and potential future member cities. We are trying to promote real-time exchange of information and opinions among APLC member cities through online communication networks. We look forward to your cooperation and participation. Thank you.
Mun, Seok-jin (Chairperson, APLC founding committee)
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Good evening ! I am Kwak, Sang Wook, the chairperson of Korean Association of Lifelong Learning Cities, which is co-organizing APLC with Foundation Preparatory Committee.
First of all, congratulations on holding APLC foundation conference, today. APLC foundation conference is jointly planned by Seodaemungu, Seoul, Yeonsu, Incheon, and Korean Association of Lifelong Learning Cities. The APLC Founding Committee member cities will unite all learning cities in the Asia-Pacific region to launch according to the philosophy and vision to promote sustainable development of the cities in the region, which will catalyze cities growth and ultimately promote lifelong learning. In particular, APLC will be actively partnering with the UNESCO International Institute of Lifelong Education (UIL), UNESCO APCEIU, DVV-International, and PASCAL International Observatory – Place And Social Capital And Learning. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the all organizers and partner institutes, including the APLC founding committee, who are working hard for the successful hosting of this event.
Recently, we have experienced the unprecedented serious pandemic of covid-19 worldwide, facing a new era of new normal with rapid digital social transformation. During this transition, countries around the world are seeking future strategies as well as overcoming the current crisis by sharing their experiences and wisdom.Learning cities are no exception. At the center of the transition, we are keenly aware of the need for joint action through exchanges, cooperation and network solidarity between cities in preparation for current and future threats.
In this regard, the launch of "APLC" is significant in that it targeted cities in 48 Asia-Pacific countries with policies, willingness to implement and plans to grow into global learning cities under the motto of promoting lifelong learning. APLC allows countries in the Asia-Pacific region to build strong learning communities by creating values together based on geographical proximity, historical and cultural consensus, and emotional ties. It can play an important and constructive role in increasing the growth engine and resilience of each city. Specifically, we hope that APLC will become a platform to promote closer communication between member cities through consturcting digital archaiv and sharing information.
Korean Association of Learning Cities aims at mutual cooperation and exchange for developing of lifelong learning cities. As part of our global lifelong learning network and cooperation project, we would like to actively help APLC by sharing global learning trends and information as well as supporting network solidarity among national and international lifelong learning cities.
We hope that learning cities will meet in various ways through APLC, create a sustainable learning ecosystem, and build up leadership in global lifelong learning governance to become trule global lifelong learning cities. Thank you.
Kwak, Sang Wook (Chairperson of Korean Association of Lifelong Learning Cities, Mayor of Osan)
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Good evening. I am Ko, Nam Seok, the co-chair of APLC founding committee. I think is very meaningful to hold this meeting even in the unprecedented uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic.
We are now living in a complex and rapidly changing world where political, social, economic and cultural norms are constantly re-defined. In particular, the current Covid-19 has led us to recognize that the uncertainty, which has not been predicted by mankind before, is now not just a problem of one region, but a problem of the entire human race.
Therefore, today, we are being urged to jointly address global issues such as economic crisis, social unrest, climate change, and poverty, and also being urged to change the world for the sake of human coexistence and prosperity.
In line with this trend of the international community, I think lifelong learning is important not only for individual learners but also for cities, themselves. Now, we must agree that lifelong learning is at the heart of the social, economic and cultural prosperity of individual learners, communities and countries. We must also strive to ensure that lifelong learning is at the heart of every city, region and country's major policies in the Asia-Pacific region.
Now the international community must move away from past hegemony, domination, and economic encroachment and must move on to an era of peace, coexistence, and harmony. Particularly, Asia, which has brilliant cultural values, is expected to become a major player in the new era. Therefore, it is time for Asia embrace and respect people all over the world and move on to the new era.
The Asia-Pacific region is the largest region in the world, including 48 of the world's top five (Asia-Pacific, Europe, Arab, Latin America and Africa). From this point of view, Asia-Pacific region needs solid exchanges, cooperation, and networks between cities that see learning as their driving forces. The need for sustainable growth and potential improvement of cities through this solidarity is more important than any other region.
The Asia-Pacific region has been continuing its efforts to build and strengthen the network by holding the Asia-Pacific Conference in Hangzhou, China in 2016, the Asia-Pacific Conference in 2017 and the GNLC Golden Hober Symposium in Yeonsu, Korea in 2019. Recently, through “Yeonsu declaration” at the Asia Pacific GNLC Network Conference in 2020, the Asia-Pacific region requested cooperation and harmony to promote policy dialogue, interconnection, partnership creation, and competency development among cities in the Asia-Pacific region.
I'm sure this APLC will be the starting point for cooperation toward "One Asia-Pacific Learning Cities," which will be united by lifelong learning, in the New Normal era.
We look forward to the active participation and cooperation of all Asia-Pacific cities in creating the network and establishing the APLC Foundation. Thank you.
Ko, Nam Seok (Co-chairperson, APLC founding committee)
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My sincere congratulations to all stakeholders involved in the launch of the Alliance for the Asia-Pacific Learning Cities (APLC)! This ambitious regional initiative will contribute to promote fruitful exchanges on lifelong learning policies and good practices among learning cities in Asia and the Pacific.
More than half of humanity lives in cities today. As the most densely populated region in the world, Asia hosts numerous cities with populations in excess of 10 million. These cities together with many others in further world regions are key players for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals including SDG 4 on education.
The COVID-19 pandemic has once again underlined the central role of urban areas in tackling global challenges. Cities have been at the frontline in dealing with this global health crisis. Many have developed innovative solutions using the power of lifelong learning. They have invested heavily to guarantee the continuity of learning for their citizens and provide them with essential information to ensure health and well-being.
Learning from these experiences is of utmost importance. This can only be done through regional and international exchange. The APLC will surely be an important platform to enhance collaboration on lifelong learning in urban areas at the regional level.
Once again, congratulations for launching this important regional initiative. I look very much forward to the future of this new Alliance, including active cooperation with the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cties (GNLC). I wish you fruitful exchanges at this founding general assembly of the APLC!
David Atchoarena (Director, UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning)
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I am delighted to extend my warmest congratulations on the establishment of the Alliance for Asia-Pacific Learning Cities (APLC) in 2020 and its founding assembly. The theme of the assembly is certainly timely: ‘One Asia–Pacific Learning Cities: Building Resilient Cities beyond COVID-19 and Unlocking the Potential of Learning Cities’.
The leadership of the Republic of Korea and the 50 Korea-based learning cities participating in the GNLC – they number among a total of 229 GNLC learning cities from all across Asia – is highly appreciated. The Republic of Korea is certainly demonstrating a strong commitment to the promotion of SDG4, which stipulates ‘ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all’ throughout Asia and the Pacific.
Next year, in 2022, the 7th International Conference on Adult Education, or CONFINTEA VII, will take place in Morocco. It will be the first CONFINTEA since the adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the most significant event for the international Adult Learning Education (ALE) community in the lead-up to 2030, the target year of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.
I am delighted that in anticipation of this important event in Morocco, the UNESCO Bangkok Office was able to host – along with the much appreciated technical support of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) – the ‘Asia and Pacific Conference for CONFINTEA VII’ only days ago, on 22 September.
For that event more than 40 member states, a number of CSOs, and various private sector organizations came together to discuss current challenges, key strategies for the next decades, innovations made to date, and both existing and projected future collaborations for promoting adult learning and lifelong learning in the Asia-Pacific.
In this spirit, I sincerely hope that the great, collective momentum catalyzed by the various activities of APLC, GNLC, and CONFINTEA VII will come to ensure the achievement of the SDG4 already mentioned.
As the theme of the founding assembly of APLC highlights, this is the right time to promote lifelong learning in this rapidly changing world, a world currently contending with, and gradually recovering from the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic.
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of the leadership and actions of city governments to promote lifelong learning in light of their diversity, local context and unique needs.
Finally, let me mention that the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in Asia and the Pacific is truly grateful for the proactive leadership of the APLC founding committee, and we look forward to its future activities and contributions to our shared commitment to promoting lifelong learning.
Shigeru Aoyagi (Director, UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in Asia and the Pacific)

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Congratulations on hosting the 2021 APLC Founding Assembly. The year 2021 is a time when the spirit of solidarity and cooperation is more important than ever. The launch of the APLC Founding Assembly is very meaningful and it will envision building a network platform for learning cities in the Asia-Pacific region and to promote cooperation and exchange in the future.
APCEIU(Asia-Pacific Center of Education for International Understanding under the Auspices of UNESCO) has been working with UNESCO member countries around the world for the past 20 years to promote education for international understanding and education for global citizenship. In particular, we are trying to spread global citizenship education around the world to foster global citizenship, which is essential for solving global daunting issues such as climate change and refugees.
Global citizenship education has growing importance due to the COVID-19 crisis. This is because global cooperation is essential to cope with the global crisis, and global cooperation is the manifestation of global citizenship.
The role of learning cities is particularly important. Today, lifelong education is becoming more and more important due to rapid technological change and population change. And among the diverse subjects of lifelong education, citizenship education, which helps to build a friendship with fellow citizens and tackle difficult tasks in such a rapidly changing world.
We look forward to building solidarity among member cities in order to develop future-oriented lifelong learning initiatives and be a new turning point in the Asia-Pacific region. On the occasion of this Founding Assembly by APLC Founding Committee, we hope facilitate collaborations among UIL, UNESCO Bangkok, and UNESCO APCEIU. Once again, I sincerely thank the members of the founding committee and the visionaries who organized the founding assembly.
Lim, Hyun Mook (Director, UNESCO APCEIU)