Inclusive quality education and lifelong learning is a key lever of sustainable development. This is based on a vision of inclusive societies in which all citizens have equitable opportunities to access effective and relevant lifelong learning delivered through multiple formal, non-formal and informal settings. As such, inclusive quality education and lifelong learning is essential to the development of individuals their families, local and national communities to which they belong, and to the world at large. It is vital to note that individuals who lack certain forms of learning in life may not contribute effectively to societal development. This paper reviews information from various researchers and establishes the nature of education provided globally, regionally and locally in connection to inclusive quality education and lifelong learning in relation to sustainable development so as to establish the major successes and challenges. It brings together a wide range of scientific expertise across the natural and social sciences in an accessible and concise manner. It is a unique paper designed primarily for negotiators, technical support teams and other actors engaged in defining a universal, integrated and transformational form of education for sustainable development. In particular it is a resource for technical review of the targets carried out in the education system in preparation for their adoption and translation at the national level. The results offer rigorous analysis of the proposed education goals and targets, collectively and individually, assessing whether they are backed up by scientific evidence, whether they address the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development in an integrated way, and whether they are sufficiently specific to be effectively implemented and monitored. Concrete recommendations have been put forward for consideration in refining the education goals and targets.