On 13 July 2019, the Latin America and Caribbean region adopted by consensus a new Regional Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education. This was concluded during the International Conference of States organized by UNESCO hosted by the Government of Argentina in Buenos Aires, with 24 Member States and 15 observers participating.
Following adoption of the Convention, 13 Member States from the region signed the Convention. Entry into force requires four ratifications, after which the “Buenos Aires” Recognition Convention will not only support academic and student mobility but also strengthen the recognition of qualifications in a fair and transparent manner across the region and serve as a powerful regional tool to strengthen inter-university cooperation. UNESCO’s International Institute for Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (IESALC) in Caracas, Venezuela will continue to serve as the Secretariat for the new Regional Convention.
As the only United Nations agency with a mandate in higher education, UNESCO supported the elaboration of five regional recognition Conventions in the 1970s and 1980s, with four revised texts now adopted. The revision process of the Recognition Convention for Latin America and the Caribbean was launched in 2015, taking into account developments in higher education since its adoption in 1974. Four expert group meetings were held in Argentina, Cuba, Colombia and Dominican Republic between 2016 and 2018 to discuss the new text, followed by two regional intergovernmental consultations in Argentina.
The new Regional Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean will be implemented in synergy with the Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education, which will be tabled for adoption at the 40th session of the General Conference.