First Arab Regional Meeting on Education 2030: ‘Towards Collective Action in Achieving Education 2030 Goal in the Arab Region’
With the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and Framework for Action (FFA), it is time for Arab Member States to once again reaffirm centrality of education in sustainable development, internalize the FFA and most importantly, discuss and agree on a roadmap for operationalizing the Agenda in the region. It is against this backdrop that under the auspice of His Excellency Minister of Education, Arab Republic of Egypt, UNESCO will organize this first meeting for the Arab region.
After extensive broad consultative process and on the basis of analyses of MDG performance and emerging challenges confronting the world, the international community adopted the new development agenda at the UN General Assembly in September 2015: Transforming Our Lives: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
On the education front, equally extensive, highly participatory consultative process culminated in the adoption at the World Education Forum (WEF 2015) in Incheon, Republic of Korea in May, of the Incheon Declaration calling for a universal and transformative agenda central to sustainable development: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all. The post-EFA goal, now referred to as the SDG 4, responds to the ‘unfinished business’ of the EFA agenda and the education-related MDGs, and addresses new global and national education challenges. The new Education 2030 agenda is inspired by a humanistic vision of education and development based on human rights and dignity, social justice, protection, cultural diversity, and shared responsibility and accountability. It is underpinned by the principle that education is a public good, a fundamental human right and a basis for guaranteeing the realization of other rights. It is essential for peace, human fulfillment and sustainable development.
In order to operationalize the Education 2030 agenda, the Framework for Action (FFA) was unanimously adopted at the High-Level Meeting held in Paris, France on 4 November, as part of the 38th General Conference of UNESCO. It is fully aligned to the outcomes of the United Nations Summit for the adoption of the SDG agenda, so as to ensure a single education agenda for 2015-2030. This requires continued strong engagement and support of governments and all other education partners to ensure that the future education agenda is holistic and transformative, and that its targets are achievable and measurable. The key message that has been communicating to Member States and all stakeholders involved is: Sustainable Development begins with education. At the same time, the Sustainable Development Goals are interconnected and linked with one another. Therefore, the role of education in transforming the world by 2030 is well articulated in the Agenda.