Secretary-General's Message to Fifth International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sport [Delivered by his Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, Mr. Wilfried Lemke]
Berlin, Germany, 28 May 2013
I am pleased to send greetings to all participants at the International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sport.
I thank the organizers for convening this important gathering, and Germany for hosting.
Sport, physical activity and play are outstanding tools to support peace and development, integrate marginalized and disadvantaged groups, promote gender equality and foster a more inclusive society for persons with disabilities.
We have a collective responsibility to ensure that all people, regardless of gender, race, religion, ability or age, have the right to practice and play in safe environments free of stigma and prejudice.
Children and youth, especially girls, deserve to engage in sports under safe conditions. Adults can act as role models by using sport to promote democratic values and principles such as fair play, inclusion and dedication to the common good.
I have seen the positive value of sport in my travels around the world. At the same time, I am disturbed by incidents of harmful actions, such as violence, racism, cheating and match-fixing, that threaten to undermine the positive values and credibility of sport. We must work together to address these challenges.
Earlier this year, the United Nations marked the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination by highlighting the issue of racism in sport. I hope we can give even greater meaning to this initiative by encouraging sport governing bodies to intensify their efforts to eradicate all forms of discrimination.
Your discussions on the challenges facing sport and your work to optimize its many benefits can support the broader work of the United Nations to advance peace, development and human rights.
In this spirit, I wish you great success.
Statements on 28 May 2013
- Tehran, Iran, 28 May 2013 - Secretary-General's message to Consultative Meeting on Syria [Delivered by Mr. Gary Lewis, UN Resident Coordinator in Iran]
- New York, 28 May 2013 - Secretary-General's remarks to the opening of "Absence" Exhibit organised by the Permanent Mission of Argentina to the United Nations [as prepared for delivery]
- New York, 28 May 2013 - Secretary-General's message to Meeting of the Global Task Force of Local and Regional Governments for the Post-2015 Development Agenda [Delivered by Mr. Shamshad Akhtar, Assistant Secretary-General of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs]
- Quito, Ecuador, 28 May 2013 - Secretary-General's message to Caribbean Regional Seminar on Implementation of the Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism [delivered by Mr. Diego Zorrilla, the UN Resident Coordinator of Ecuador]
- Beijing, People's Republic of China, 28 May 2013 - Secretary-General's Message to the China Beijing International Fair for Trade in Services and Global Services Forum