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September 14, 2005
Leaders at World Summit Underline Importance of Sport

- Press Release
in PDF.
14 September 2005

Leaders at UN World Summit underline Sport for Development and Peace and encourage discussions on Plan of Action

United Nations, New York, 14 September 2005 - The final document for the 2005 World Summit at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 14 to 16 September underlines the role of sport in promoting peace and development and encourages consideration of a Sport and Development Plan of Action.

More than 170 Heads of States and Government are convening for the Summit, the largest ever gathering of world leaders, marking the 60th anniversary of the United Nations. The Summit is dedicated to major international issues, including steps to spur achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and reduce poverty; promote human rights, the rule of law and collective security; and strengthen the United Nations system.

“It is significant that during the International Year of Sport and Physical Education 2005 (IYSPE 2005), leaders at the 2005 World Summit are including a strong endorsement of sport’s contribution to the international development agenda and peace-building,” said Mr. Adolf Ogi, Special Adviser to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Sport for Development and Peace. “We look forward to discussions in the General Assembly on proposals for a Sport and Development Plan of Action, as encouraged by leaders at the World Summit.”

The Summit document states (in paragraph 145):

“We underline that sports can foster peace and development and can contribute to an atmosphere of tolerance and understanding, and we encourage discussions in the General Assembly for proposals leading to a Sport and Development Plan of Action.”

The statement’s inclusion in the Summit document was strongly supported by Chile and facilitated by other members of the Group of Friends of Sport for Development and Peace who are among the ambassadors to the United Nations. The Group of Friends, co-chaired by the ambassadors of Switzerland and Tunisia, now also includes representatives from Austria, Greece, Italy, Mali, Norway, Russia, Thailand, and the United Kingdom. The aim of the open-ended group is to encourage the 191 UN member states to incorporate sport into their development policies to help accelerate attainment of the MDGs.

Sport plays a significant role in initiatives to promote health and education, build tolerance among social groups, assist refugees and at-risk youth, and outreach for HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention.

For further information please contact:

Djibril Diallo, Director, UN New York Office of Sport for Development and Peace

(212) 457 1850 or djibril.diallo@undp.org.

Visit www.un.org/sport2005.

Photos: UN launches International Year of Sport and Physical Education during a November 2004 press conference in New York. L to R: Roger Federer, Adolf Ogi, Kofi Annan, H.E. Ali Hachani, and Margaret Okayo. By UN/DPI.
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