logo CELACThe Heads of State and Government of Latin America and the Caribbean, gathered in Costa Rica, on the occasion of the Third Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), on January 28th – 29th, 2015;

Recognizing that education for all, free and quality is an essential element for achieving sustainable development in our countries;

Recognizing that education is a fundamental key to face the challenges of poverty eradication, the change in consumption and production patterns towards more sustainable modalities, the elimination of discriminatory practices as racism, sexism, exclusion, among others, and is a fundamental instrument for the promotion of a peace culture, the strengthening democracy and the consolidation of more just and inclusive societies;

Reaffirming the commitments on education contained in the outcome document of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio + 20, entitled “The Future We Want”;

Reaffirming that full access to quality education at all levels is an essential condition for achieving sustainable development, poverty eradication, gender equality and women’s empowerment, as well as human development, for the attainment of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals and the Beijing Platform for Action, for the full participation of women and men, in particular young people;

Stressing the need for ensuring equal access to education for persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, local communities, ethnic minorities and people living in rural areas and the migrants;

Emphasizing the importance of greater international cooperation to improve access to education, including by building and strengthening education infrastructure and increasing investment in education, research and innovation, particularly investments to improve the quality of education for all in developing countries, and encouraging international educational exchanges and partnerships, including the creation of scholarships to help achieve global education goals;

Welcoming the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and the Declaration resulted thereof, held in Aichi-Nagoya, Japan from 10 to 12 November 2014 and the decisions adopted during the 195 UNESCO´s Executive Council, held In Paris, from 15 to 31 October, 2015, in particular decision 195 EX/6 on “Education after 2015”;

We agree:

1. To promote education for all, free and quality for sustainable development in the Latin America and Caribbean region and to integrate sustainable development more actively into education beyond the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.

2. To Promote and support initiatives to strengthen the work of higher education institutions in the countries of the region, to carry out research and innovation for sustainable development, including in the field of education, and to develop quality and innovative programmes, including entrepreneurship and business skills training, science, technology, engineering and mathematics, as well as other legal models of enterprises, including social associations of collective enterprises, SMEs, cooperatives based on social and environmental sustainability, professional, technical and vocational training and lifelong learning, geared to bridging skills gaps for advancing national sustainable development objectives.

3. To highlight the role of education for sustainable development for the implementation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the achievement of its objectives.

4. To welcome the inclusion of themes relating to Education for Sustainable Development in the Report of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, which will be the main basis for integrating this topic into future post 2015 development agenda ensuring equitable access to education at all levels with focus on the vulnerable groups, including indigenous peoples, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, persons living in rural areas, and migrants.

5. To promote programs that strengthen the teaching of the three dimensions of sustainable development through pedagogical techniques that promote participatory learning, the critical thinking, the logical reasoning, the creativity and the formation of active, ethical, caring, tolerant, participatory, law-abiding citizens, allowing the transformation of the school into a community of positive values.

6. To promote the development of innovative educational strategies adapted to the new demands and needs of our countries, including ethnical and ethical approaches, so contributing to the formation of youth respectful of dialogue, human rights, culture, diversity, democracy, interculturality and sustainable development.

7. To emphasize that the application of ESD should fully take into consideration local, national, regional and global contexts, and the contribution of culture to sustainable development, as well as the need to respect, promote and to generate a culture of peace, non-violence, cultural diversity, traditional and local knowledge, ancestral languages, indigenous wisdom and practices and the promotion and protection of all human rights for all, gender equality, democracy and social justice.

8. To strengthen South-South cooperation, as complement of the North-South cooperation, with the view of promoting the right to ensure access to quality education at all levels in our countries, aiming at creating opportunities and achieving, sustainably, the greatest possible impact on the lives of the most vulnerable sectors.

9. To encourage exchanges and international partnerships on the topic of education, including in particular, creation of scholarships to help to achieve global goals of education.

10. To join efforts with UNESCO in promoting Education for Sustainable Development, as the fundamental, in the construction of a new Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Belén, Costa Rica, January 29th, 2015

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