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A Year for Sport

Fact Sheet (PDF)

The Power of Sport

Sport and Education

Sport and Health

Sport and Peace

Sport and Development

Sport and Youth

Sport and
the Millennium Development Goals

Sport and Disability

Why an
International Year?

and Objectives

Expected Results


Sport and Youth

The International Year of Sport and Physical Education 2005 (IYSPE 2005) and young people's strong interest in sport provide an entry point for drawing on sport to help youth promote health, education and development in order to reach the MDGs and for communicating values, such as respect for rules and cooperation, to help build peace.

Youth Leadership Summits

The Youth Leadership Summits are designed to help the next generation of leaders face the tremendous development challenges of the 21st century. They are highlighting the contribution that sport can make towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and promoting peace. The Summits also emphasize the role of culture as a tool for reaching out to and mobilizing young people.

The Summits are being organized on a regional basis through innovative collaboration between the UN New York Office of Sport for Development and Peace, the United Nations system, the UN Development Programme, and the Global Peace Initiative of Women, with the support of governments and private sector partners. The aim is to help young leaders develop initiatives that promote progress towards the MDGs, and to provide a global platform for the voices of leaders of the next generation.

Discussions during the Summits focus on the MDGs, including strategies to:

-- Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
-- Achieve universal primary education
-- Promote gender equality
-- Reduce child mortality
-- Improve maternal health
-- Halt the spread of HIV/AIDS
-- Ensure environmental sustainability
-- Develop a global partnership for development

The series of regional Youth Leadership Summits will culminate in a Global Youth Leadership Summit at the United Nations in August 2006. For each regional Summit, two youth delegates, one young man and one young women ages of 18 to 30, are nominated by UNDP offices and UN Country Team partners, based on their involvement in development activities in their communities, countries and regions and their leadership potential.

Pan- African Youth Leadership Summit II
18-23 August 2005, Ifrane, Morocco
Declaration (22 August 2005)

Under the theme "Providing a global platform for Africa's next generation of leaders," the second Pan-African Youth Leadership Summit will bring together young leaders and representatives of youth organizations from across Africa, including those involved in sports initiatives, along with representatives from previous Summits in other regions, to exchange ideas and experiences, network and develop proposals on to push the MDGs agenda forward and enhance the Declaration agreed on by young African leaders last year in Dakar. The Summit will highlight the convening power of sport as an entry point for accelerating efforts to achieve the MDGs within the framework of IYSPE 2005.

The Summit is a collaborative effort by the UN New York Office of Sport for Development and Peace, the UNDP Regional Bureaus for Africa and Arab States, the UNDP Morocco Office, the Government of Morocco, and the Global Peace Initiative of Women, in close consultation with the UN system as a whole.

Pan-African Youth Leadership Summit
27-30 June 2004, Dakar, Senegal

The first Pan-African Youth Leadership Summit held in Dakar, Senegal, from 27 to 30 June 2004 brought together more than 100 young leaders from African countries. During the Summit, African youth were signed on as MDG advocates, and a panel discussed the role of sport in efforts to achieve the goals. They committed themselves to full involvement in mobilizing their communities to halve poverty by 2015 and protect themselves and others from the spread of AIDS in order to help save the next generation from the scourge.

The Pan-African Youth Leadership Summit is part of the Africa 2015 initiative of UNDP, which was launched in 2003 to boost ongoing efforts and trigger new ones to achieve the Millennium Development Goals across Africa, using HIV/AIDS as an entry point. Initial components of Africa 2015 brought together cultural and sports leaders throughout the continent to partner with the United Nations in advancing the MDGs.

Latin America & the Caribbean Youth Leadership Summit
12-16 May 2005, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Declaration (16 May 2005)


Youth delegates from throughout Latin America and the Caribbean convened in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, to discuss ways to encourage young people to initiate efforts to help achieve the MDGs. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil sent a message welcoming delegates to the Summit, jointly organized by the UN New York Office of Sport for Development and Peace on behalf of the UN system, the Government of Brazil, the Global Peace Initiative of Women, the city of Belo Horizonte, and the Citizenship Institute. High-level officials from several government ministries participated, along with representatives of UN agencies in Brazil and the region. Sport, with its wide appeal among youth, was a focus for the summit, and IYSPE 2005 offers a framework for reaching out to youth on the MDGs.

The delegates adopted a declaration that includes the pledge: "To consider sports and culture as rights and means of empowerment of individuals as integral beings who bring about solidarity, education, health, development, participation, communication, mobilization, well-being, sociability, citizenship, peace, social equality and equality regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, age and special needs, among others."

Pan-Asian Youth Leadership Summit
19-21 September 2004, Hiroshima, Japan

The Pan-Asian Youth Leadership Summit took place in Hiroshima, Japan, and drew delegates from across the region who have demonstrated leadership in advancing the MDGs. The objective was to allow them to discuss, develop and lead projects in an internationally cooperative manner in support of the MDGs. An important theme was ways to tap into sports and sports stars, as well as the diverse culture of the region, for raising awareness and mobilizing support for the MDGs.

The Summit forms an important part of Asia Pacific 2015, an initiative to boost efforts and trigger bold new steps to support achieving the Millennium Development Goals in the region. A critical challenge is HIV/AIDS, where early policy response can save millions of lives. This is an area where young people have to take the lead. The Summit looked at how the MDGs are faring in Asian and Pacific countries and what projects youth leaders can initiate to increase the momentum.

Top Photo: Children playing ball, Nakivale Refugee Camp in Uganda, by Michael Kleiner, 2004.
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