On October 2018, Viciebsk joined the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities, supported by DVV international. The event was celebrated as an official event at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Minsk. As it becomes the first city of Belarus to join the Global Learning Cities Network along with the other 223 cities in 51 countries, it offers the residents with UNESCO Lifelong Learning (UIL). It aims to promote policy dialogue and peer learning among member cities and provide capacity development while fostering the partnerships between the cities.

between the cities

The UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities by UNESCO is an international policy-oriented learning network which provides the inspiration, workshops, and best practice in learning. The cities involved in the program can work together to come up with new ideas and solutions for the issues which arise among the cities. This global network supports all the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs), which include the goals such as ‘Ensure inclusive ad equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’ and ‘Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.’ The UNESCO GNLC aims to support the practice of lifelong learning opportunities and also improve the quality of living for the member cities.

The Deputy Minister of Belarus, Oleg Kravchenko, spoke on occasion mentioning that it is an important decision in Belarus and is an acknowledgement of the efforts Viciebsk has made for ensuring continuous education for the people. The event was conducted and attended by a number of ambassadors, members of the Belarusian government, and the representatives from DVV international and UIL. The certificate of Global Network Membership was handed over by Profession Un Shil Choi, member of the Governing Board of the UIL, to the mayor of Viciebsk, Viktor Nikolaykin.

The DVV International worked with the city of Viciebsk throughout the process with expert workshops, consultation, and a 3-year drafting plan up until 2020, which will define the key areas of the city of Viciebsk. Due to the time and effort put by DVV international in this program, the National Commission of the Republic of Belarus for UNESCO-Affairs, as well as the city administration of Viciebsk, presented special diplomas to Galina Veramejchyk, the director of the Belarusian country office of DVV International.

Many government officials took part in the event and welcomed this change with great enthusiasm. The event was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Minsk which was then followed by a two-day international forum “Learning City for Creative Economy and Sustainable Development” on 19th and 20th of October, 2018. It was organized in the city of Viciebsk by DVV International and partners. In future, the learning cities can make recognizable progress with the right encouragement from the network.