- May 20, 2024

8 May 2024. Statement by the International Disability Alliance (IDA), the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC), and the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) to inform discussions within the Common Agenda processes.

The IDA, IDDC, and GCE call on the international community to ensure that disability-inclusive quality education is included in global efforts to Transform Education, the Pact for the Future and the Declaration for Future Generations (September 2024), and in discussions within the World Social Summit (September 2025).

The UN Secretary-General convened the Transforming Education Summit (TES) in recognition of the crisis in education. His vision statement called the need to transform education “an urgent political imperative for our collective future.” Despite the rhetoric and commitments by governments, UN agencies and civil society at TES, preparations for the Pact for the Future, the Declaration on Future Generations and the upcoming World Social Summit in 2025 omit a commitment to inclusive, quality and equitable education at our peril. This concern has been shared by GCE and others in civil society, as education is the foundation for sustainable development and must be prioritised.

Inclusive education is central to realizing other human rights and the primary means for the development of inclusive, peaceful and fair societies (UNCRPD, Art24 GC4). It is, therefore, essential to leaving no one behind, now and in the future.

Eighty-seven percent of the National Commitments to Transform Education made during the TES recognised the need for more inclusive education systems to realise the right to education of the most marginalised learners. Member States committed to “address barriers to girls’ education, gender and disability gaps (to) enable all learners to achieve their full potential and physical, mental and emotional well-being” (SDG Summit Political Declaration, September 2023). We urge Member States to deliver on these commitments and invest in equitable, quality, inclusive education.

Allowing all children, youth, and future generations to reach their full potential is crucial to “delivering a better present and safeguarding the future” for all. Inclusive education, by focusing on the well-being and success of students with disabilities, achieves high-quality education and social inclusion for all children and young people (UNCRPD, Art24 GC4).

We urge all Member States to ensure persons with disabilities are consulted and meaningfully participate in all negotiations and events, including the Summit of the Future in 2024 and World Social Summit in 2025.

We attach recommendations on how to strengthen the current drafts of the Pact for the Future and the Declaration for Future Generations. We are ready to collaborate to ensure that inclusive education is at the centre of global plans for a peaceful, sustainable and inclusive future for all.

Read the full IDDC-IDA-GCE Statement