On November 8, 2021, a capacity-building workshop on ‘Strengthening education systems from a lifelong learning perspective’ kicked off. Co-organized by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) and Shanghai Open University (SOU), the workshop brings together more than 50 stakeholders, comprising government representatives, policy-makers and representatives of lifelong learning institutions from Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia, the Republic of Kazakhstan and Uganda, as well as a team of representatives of open universities in the People’s Republic of China.This is our third workshop, but our first in an online setting. Although we are not together in person, we are together in our eagerness to take what the past two years have taught us and transform it into policy that strengthens education systems from a lifelong learning perspective.David Atchoarena, Director of UILThis is our first online workshop, due to the pandemic. With this online platform, we hope to gather the wisdom of global outstanding lifelong learning experts, exchange ideas, share experiences, create a blueprint for lifelong learning, and promote the implementation of SDG4.Mr JIA Wei , President of Shanghai Open UniversityDuring 50 years in UNESCO, we have cooperated on a series of initiatives and activities together, including our cooperation with UIL. In 2013, we co-organized the first International Conference on Learning Cities with UIL, where the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities was established.Mr QIN Changwei , Secretary General of the Chinese National Commission for UNESCOOver the course of three weeks, from 8 to 26 November 2021, they will develop measures to promote lifelong learning, through education, at the national level.Participants will build a rationale for policy development by exploring and contextualizing overarching themes affecting education and lifelong learning, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, digitalization, and active and global citizenship. They will then select a series of key topics requiring policy prioritization. Possible topics include flexible learning pathways, learning cities, and lifelong learning through formal, non-formal and informal learning.Each team will draft a national policy, an implementation strategy or a targeted action plan for lifelong learning. They will develop concrete timelines for advancing the policy, strategy or action plan following the workshop to ensure timely follow-up. Teams will build on the political will in their countries to embrace lifelong learning, as demonstrated by video testimony from H.E. Phout Simmalavong, Minister of Education, Lao PDR.