VST 15.2.2007

Statement regarding international solidarity and sustainable development

Statement issued by the secretary-generals at the consultation network meeting of Folkbildning Norden held in Tallinn in 2007

International solidarity and sustainable development

At its meeting in Tallinn on 11th January, 2007, Folkbildning Norden, the Nordic consultation network for non-formal adult learning, discussed the work of adult education in issues pertaining to international solidarity and adaptation of society to sustainable development.

We urge the Nordic aid and development agencies to take note of the following:

  1. The struggle against poverty and threats to the global environment are among the most serious issues we face today. International solidarity is essential to globally sustainable development. Decision makers, organisations and private citizens all over the world are urged to make active efforts towards achieving sustainable development.
  2. In their own countries, the Nordic adult education organisations have all put together comprehensive educational programmes for the promotion of sustainable development, covering fields such as the environment/ecology, culture, economics and local development, public health, democracy and global solidarity.
  3. Non-profit organisations are allowed to play a prominent role in Nordic development cooperation. A substantial proportion of development aid and assistance is channelled via various non-profit organisations.
  4. Adult education organisations cooperate extensively in international development programmes. Initiatives are taken in fields in which adult education organisations have built up their own body of experience and expertise; in the educational sphere, in matters relating to the development of democracy and support for civil society. Cooperation takes place through direct development projects and exchanges, networks and, not least, through active membership in the International Council for Adult Education (ICAE).
  5. The ICAE represents more than 700 adult education organisations throughout the world, most of them non-profit organisations with limited financial resources. Over the years, the Nordic aid and development agencies have provided indispensable financial backing for the ICAE.
  6. We urge the Nordic aid agencies DANIDA, ICEIDA, NORAD and SIDA, and the Department for Development Policy at the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to provide increased financial support for the ICAE with a view to strengthening the organisation´s ability to use adult education as a tool to address issues pertaining to international solidarity and adaptation of society to sustainable development.
  7. We also urge the Nordic aid agencies to initiate mutual cooperation with a view to ensuring that any support they provide will have the greatest possible effect.
  8. During spring 2007, Folkbildning Norden will be inviting the Nordic aid agencies and adult education organisations to attend a joint working seminar on education and learning as strategic tools for development and aid.

Tallinn, 11th January, 2007

Fleming Gjedde, Danish Adult Education Association, Denmark
Eeva-Inkeri Sirelius, Finnish Adult Education Association, Finland
Smari Haraldsson, Leikn - association for adult learning in Iceland
Sturla Bjeraker, Norwegian Adult Education Association, Norway
Maicen Ekman, Swedish Federation of Adult Education Associations, Sweden

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