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Achieving Education for All

To leave no person or country behind is the ultimate ambition of the development agenda that will be adopted at the United Nations this September. The first step toward achieving that goal is ensuring a high-quality education for all.

PARIS – Leave no person or country behind. This is the ultimate ambition of the sustainable development agenda that will be adopted at the United Nations in September. As the world prepares to rally around a new set of goals to improve lives and protect the planet, we must load the dice. That is why the upcoming Oslo Summit on Education for Development is so important.

Education has the potential to become one of the most powerful catalysts for development in the years ahead, serving as a bridge from poverty to prosperity, from exclusion to participation, from division to understanding. Improved education is associated with many positive developments, including fewer child marriages, lower death rates among children under the age of five and mothers during childbirth, more effective HIV prevention, higher wages, and greater economic growth. As the challenges we face grow more daunting than ever, more and better education will be the key to confronting them.

This conviction underpins the Incheon Declaration, adopted by 120 ministers and representatives from 160 countries in May at the World Education Forum (WEF) in Incheon, Republic of Korea. The declaration demonstrates a strong commitment to the fourth proposed Sustainable Development Goal (SDG): to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. And it lays the groundwork for a truly transformational approach to education, one that is holistic, ambitious, and aspirational.

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