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President of the Republic of Djibouti, Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, and ERF President Manssour Bin Mussallam, when they met to discuss the holding of the III ForumBIE 2030 in Djibouti

Education systems fit for the future? The Global South is taking up the challenge

GENEVA, Nov. 18, 2019 — With all revisions complete, the Universal Declaration of Balanced and Inclusive Education has now been finalised. The Universal Declaration will be officially adopted in Djibouti City during the closing ceremony of the III ForumBIE 2030 – International Summit on Balanced and Inclusive Education, which will be held from 27-29 January 2020.

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As a part of the commitments contained within the Universal Declaration, its adoption will see the establishment of new multilateral instruments of technical and financial cooperation, ensuring sustainable mechanisms to support education systems around the world.

The Universal Declaration follows in the spirit of previous international agreements. It combines those ideas, links them with novel concepts, and situates them within a holistic, flexible and operational structure resting on four key pillars: Intraculturalism, Transdisciplinarity, Dialecticism and Contextuality.

The Universal Declaration, inscribing itself in a process led by countries of the Global South, addresses the urgent need to enact educational reforms that fulfil the contextualised needs of communities and societies, and the imperative of sustainable development, by placing the necessary resources at their collective disposal.

The Education Relief Foundation (ERF) is a Geneva-based not-for-profit and non-governmental organisation which serves to develop, promote and embed a balanced and inclusive education through policy development, capacity building and civil society engagement, amongst other activities.

The first ForumBIE 2030 was held at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland in December 2017. In November 2018, II ForumBIE 2030 in Mexico City saw both the launch of the Global Guide of Ethics, Principles, Policies, and Practices in Balanced and Inclusive Education, and the initial signing of the International Call for Balanced and Inclusive Education – the document which called for the preparation of the Universal Declaration of Balanced and Inclusive Education.

To date, the International Call for Balanced and Inclusive Education has garnered 41 signatures, representing 671 governmental, academic and civil society entities from 110 countries.