wef_201522 May 2015: The 2015 World Education Forum (WEF) adopted the Incheon Declaration, committing to undertake steps toward promoting education opportunities for all by 2030, within a framework to be finalized by November 2015.

WEF 2015 took place in Incheon, Republic of Korea, from 18-22 May 2015, addressing five themes: the right to education; equity in education; inclusive education; quality education; and lifelong learning.

The Incheon Declaration expresses agreement on “essential elements” of the Education 2030 Framework for Action, building on the UN-led Education For All (EfA) framework and goals. The Declaration states that a final version of the 2030 Framework will be adopted and launched at a high-level meeting in November 2015, to take place alongside the 38th session of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) General Conference.

Signatories to the Incheon Declaration commit to ensuring the provision of 12 years of free, publicly funded, equitable quality primary and secondary education, including at least nine years of compulsory education. Its concerns include the impacts of conflict on education and development, and the need for safe, supportive and secure learning environments free from violence. The Declaration urges developed countries to make concrete efforts to reach the target of 0.7% of gross national product (GNP) for official development assistance (ODA) to developing countries.

The Declaration welcomes the Oslo Summit on Education for Development that will convene in July 2015. It calls on the upcoming Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD 3) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to support the proposed fourth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 4) on education, recognizing that the targets cannot be achieved without increased financing, which is recommended at the level of at least 4-6% of gross domestic product (GDP), or 15-20% of total public expenditure.

The Declaration also supports the implementation of the Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), which was launched at the UNESCO World Conference on ESD in Aichi-Nagoya in 2014. It stresses the importance of human rights education and training in order to achieve the post-2015 sustainable development agenda.

Six multilateral organisations co-convened WEF 2015: the UN Development Programme (UNDP); UNESCO; the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR); the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF); UN Women; and the World Bank.

On the eve of WEF 2015, the World Bank announced an increase in its funding for education, to a level of US$5 billion over the next five years. [WEF 2015 Website] [UNESCO Press Release] [Incheon Declaration] [World Bank Announcement (Video)]