CORK’S commitment to promote learning has been renewed with the Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork travelling to Belfast with a Cork delegation to join representatives Belfast, Dublin, Limerick, and Derry City and Strabane councils.
Representatives from the Irish Network of Learning Cities signed up to an extended five-year period of collaboration to use learning to improve the lives of all citizens.
“We met to reaffirm our commitment to work together and to learn from each other,” said Fianna Fáil councillor Tony Fitzgerald, the deputy mayor of Cork City.
“Since 2002 we’ve recognised the potential for strengthening sustained commitments to lifelong learning in any city.
“Cork led the way by developing a Lifelong Learning Festival in 2004 and we’ve watched with pride as Limerick, Belfast, Derry, and Dublin have developed their own Learning City festivals and initiatives over the years.
“The timing of this memorandum signing is significant in that it provides for city-to-city co-operation and links across the island at a time of uncertainty following Brexit and with a renewed focus on our future as a Shared Island, 24 years since the Good Friday Agreement.”
All five cities in the network are members of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities, a network of over 200 cities committed to using learning to improve the lives of citizens by sharing good practice, creative solutions, and ideas in addressing key concerns.
Welcoming delegates to Belfast City Hall, lord mayor, councillor Michael Long, said the importance of building a learning city “cannot be underestimated”.
“We believe that by working together to nurture a culture of learning across all aspects of life, we can empower all our citizens to improve their quality of life and in turn build stronger and healthier communities,” he said.
“Since signing the original agreement, we have built strong foundations as a network and look forward to further collaboration to celebrate learning and shine a spotlight on the achievements of all learners. We are very much looking forward to the next five years.”