18 March 2008

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Biographical Note

Secretary-General appoints wilfried lemke of germany as special adviser

on sport for development and peace


United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Wilfried Lemke of Germany as his Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, serving on a $1 per year salary with the rank of Under-Secretary-General.

Mr. Lemke replaces Adolf Ogi, former President of Switzerland, who concluded his mandate at the end of December 2007.  The Secretary-General greatly appreciates Mr. Ogi’s work as the first Special Adviser in this area.  He leaves an important legacy for Mr. Lemke to build upon, in reaching out to the world of sport and encouraging the use of sport to promote development and peace.

The Special Adviser leads and coordinates the efforts of the United Nations system to promote understanding and support for sport as an instrument for development and peace, and encourages dialogue, collaboration and partnerships in this area.  The United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace is based at the United Nations Office at Geneva and a liaison office is to be located within the Department of Economic and Social Affairs at New York Headquarters.

The United Nations recognizes that sport can make an important contribution to public health, universal education, gender equality, poverty reduction, prevention of HIV and AIDS and other diseases, environmental sustainability, peacebuilding and conflict resolution.  Since the International Year of Sport and Physical Education, 2005, Member States have increasingly recognized in their national legislation and policies the role of sport in dealing with the aforementioned challenges.

Mr. Lemke has over 25 years of professional experience in both sport and politics.  From 1999-2008, he served as Senator of Interior and Sport of the German State of Bremen, as well as Senator for Education and Science.  Mr. Lemke was manager for 18 years of Werder Bremen, one of the top football clubs in Europe.  In this capacity, he notably engaged in fundraising and the initiation of relief projects in Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.  Throughout his career he has been a dedicated advocate for the importance of sport in education and society.

Mr. Lemke holds a degree in sport and educational sciences from Hamburg University.  He was born on 19 August 1946 and is married, with four children.

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For information media • not an official record