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SPORT FOR DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE THE UN SYSTEM IN ACTION

UN Member States confirm sport’s role in development and peace-building

28 November 2012
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UN General Assembly sixty-seventh session © UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

New York, 28 November 2012 – Today the UN General Assembly passed its latest Resolution on sport, reaffirming the use of sport to bring about positive social change. This year’s Resolution, entitled “Sport as a means to promote education, health, development and peace”, encourages the use of sport as a vehicle to foster development and strengthen education, prevent disease, empower girls and women, promote the inclusion and well-being of persons with disabilities, and facilitate conflict prevention and peace-building.

The Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, Mr. Wilfried Lemke, attended the debate. Prior to that, he reported about his recent activities in the meeting of the Group of Friends of Sports for Development and Peace.

After the adoption of the Resolution, Mr. Lemke commented: "Sport is increasingly being mainstreamed as an efficient tool for development and peace. It is very encouraging that more and more countries as well as other stakeholders, such as sport organizations around the world are recognizing the power of sport as an efficient tool for social change and for creating sustainable and lasting legacies, both in relation to mass sport events and at the grassroots level. The adoption of this year’s Resolution is therefore an important milestone to ensure further momentum in this field that should translate policy statements to concrete commitments and implementation.

In particular, the Resolution expresses appreciation of the leadership of the Special Adviser, supported by the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace, on issues relating to sport for development and peace within the United Nations system and beyond. It continues the support given by the UN Member States to sport’s role in the achievement of development and peace objectives throughout the world, in particular with regard to the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The Resolution also affirms the contribution of the Olympic movement as a unique means for the promotion of peace and development and welcomes the success of London 2012 Olympic Truce promotional programmes. Through the Resolution the General Assembly also emphasizes the importance of partnerships between public and private sectors to jointly “create effective programmes with sustainable impact”. In this respect, the 3rd International Forum on Sport for Peace and Development, jointly organized by United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to be held in New York in June 2013, will serve as an important platform to both promote policy dialogue and engagement of stakeholders for tangible commitments and actions.

In the Resolution, UN Member States and relevant stakeholders are invited to join and support the Group of Friends of Sport for Development and Peace and the Sport for Development and Peace International Working Group to enhance its work in all themes, including the pending thematic groups on Sport and Persons with Disabilities as well as Sport and Health.

The Resolution was introduced by Monaco and Tunisia, both co-chairs of the Group of Friends of Sport for Development and Peace, and co-sponsored by Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bolivia, Bosnia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Egypt, Eritrea, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mauritius, Monaco, Mongolia, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Korea, Moldova, Montenegro, Russian Federation, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Vietnam and Zambia.

During the session, the representatives of the following Member States addressed the Assembly (in order of appearance): Monaco, Tunisia, Cuba, Brazil, Costa Rica, Australia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Russian Federation, Belarus, South Africa, Jamaica, Germany and Israel.

The increasing importance of sport in the UN has been evidenced by its passing of similar Resolutions since 2003. The Secretary-General has continuously reported to the General Assembly on the implementation of these resolutions and on progress at the national, regional and international levels. This year, the Secretary-General made his report on 9 August 2012, entitled “Sport for development and peace: mainstreaming a versatile instrument”.

During his mission to New York, Mr. Lemke also met with the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon to report on his activities as Special Adviser.

Read the full text of the Resolution here.

Listen to audio playback here.

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