Education 2030: Incheon Declaration and Framework for Action

May 11, 2016


The world has made some remarkable progress in education since 2000, when the six Education for All (EFA) goals and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were established. Those goals were not, however, reached by the 2015 deadline and continued action is needed to complete the unfinished agenda. With Goal 4 of Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development [i] – ‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong earning opportunities for all’ (hereafter referred to as Education 2030) – and its associated targets, the world has set a more ambitious universal education agenda for the period from 2015 to 2030. Every effort must be made to guarantee that this time the goal and targets are achieved.

Education 2030 was developed through a broad consultative process driven and owned by Member States, and facilitated by UNESCO as well as other partners and guided by the EFA Steering Committee.1 Education 2030 draws on the thematic consultations on education post-2015 of 2012 and 2013 led by UNESCO and UNICEF, the Global Education for All Meeting held in Muscat, Oman, in May 2014, non-government organization (NGO) consultations, the five regional ministerial conferences organized by UNESCO in 2014 and 2015, and the E-9 meeting held in Islamabad in 2014.2 A key mile stone in its development is the Muscat Agreement [ii], which was adopted at the Global EFA Meeting in May 2014 and which informed the global education goal and its associated targets and means of implementation as proposed by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly’s Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (OWG).

This process culminated in the Incheon Declaration, which was adopted on 21 May 2015 at the World Education Forum (WEF 2015) held in Incheon, Republic of Korea. The Incheon Declaration constitutes the commitment of the education community to Education 2030 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, recognizing the important role of education as a main driver of development. The Education 2030 Framework for Action, which provides guidance for implementing Education 2030, was discussed at WEF 2015, and its essential elements were agreed upon in the Incheon Declaration. It was finalized by the Drafting Group for the Education 2030 Framework for Action and adopted by 184 Member States and the education community during a high-level meeting at UNESCO, Paris on 4 November 2015. The Framework for Action outlines how to translate into practice, at country/national,3 regional and global level, the commitment made in Incheon. It aims at mobilizing all countries and partners around the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on education and its targets, and proposes ways of implementing, coordinating, financing and monitoring Education 2030 to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all. It also proposes indicative strategies which countries may wish to draw upon in developing contextualized plans and strategies, taking into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities.

The Framework for Action has three sections. Section I outlines the vision, rationale and principles of Education 2030. Section II describes the global education goal and its associated seven targets and three means of implementation, as well as indicative strategies. Section III proposes a structure for coordinating global education efforts, as well as governance, monitoring, follow-up and review mechanisms. It also examines ways of ensuring that Education 2030 is adequately financed and outlines the partnerships needed to realize the agenda at country/national, regional and global level.


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