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Celebrating Inclusion in Education (13-15 March 2024)

Join us to celebrate inclusion in education at UNESCO's Headquarters in Paris!

High level panel discussion on the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of Salamanca Statement, organized by UNESCO

13 March 2024, Room I

Organized by UNESCO


Despite significant progress in making education inclusive in the last decade, deep disparities remain. Millions of children and youth are still denied their right to education. Poverty, geographical location, gender, language, disability, ethnicity, migration or displacement status continue to dictate and limit education opportunities.

Inclusive policies are imperative to reach Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4), especially to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”, which is essential to the realization of the 2030 Agenda.

The Salamanca Statement adopted and widely endorsed at the World Conference organized by UNESCO and the Ministry of Education and Science of Spain in Salamanca, Spain in 1994 laid down the fundamental principle of inclusion at school: “All children should learn together, wherever possible, regardless of any difficulties or differences they may have. Inclusive schools must recognize and respond to the diverse needs of their students”. Participants at Salamanca considered the fundamental policy shifts required to promote inclusive education, namely enabling schools to serve all children, particularly those defined as having special educational needs.

Since then, the concept of inclusion has broadened, emphasizing the need to reach all learners, under the assumption that every learner matters equally and has the right to receive relevant, equitable and effective educational opportunities.

Every learner matters and matters equally, this is what inclusion is about.  It is not an easy task. Because inclusion calls for transformation – for a paradigm shift in the philosophy and practice of education, away from a “one-size fits all” approach.

Purpose of the event

The overall purpose of the event is to make the case for fostering inclusion and equity in education. It will bring together high-level ministries of education representatives as key partners to foster policy dialogue on how countries are prioritizing and promoting inclusion in education.

Global Inclusive Schools’ Forum: From practitioners to policymakers 

14-15 March 2024, Room II 

Organized by UNESCO and the International Forums of Inclusion Practitioners (IFIP) 


Teachers, principals and school personnel are in the frontline in the quest for inclusion, but they are not always well-prepared, supported and empowered to teach and create welcoming learning environments for a diverse student population.

Schools need to be reformed and practices need to be improved in ways that will make teachers to feel supported in responding positively to diversity and in promoting gender equality.  

Collaboration between schools is also very important as it can help reduce the polarization of schools, to the particular benefit of those students who are marginalized at the edges of the system. School-to-school collaboration can also strengthen the capacity of individual organizations to respond to learner diversity. 

Purpose of the event

The purpose of the Forum is to convene practitioners from different regions around the world and provide them with a space to share experiences and highlight promising and innovative practices that will be channeled to policymakers and key stakeholders. It is hoped that the Forum will further encourage synergies between practitioners, schools and communities at local, regional and global levels for more impact. 

UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France
125 Avenue Suffren (Room I and II )

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