The UN Communication Group’s (UNCG) Working Group on Sport for Development and Peace is a UN inter-agency forum established with the aim of sharing information, creating synergies and providing a UN-wide coordinated approach with regard to important communication issues around major sports events.
The Working Group is chaired by the UN Department of Public Information (UNDPI) and is composed of communication specialists from various UN funds, programmes and specialized agencies. It meets at least twice per year.
International major sports events such as Olympic and Paralympics Games and world championships represent unique opportunities for outreach activities, public information and communication. In order to meet the increasing need for coordination in the lead-up and during these events, the Working Group serves as a platform to ensure a coherent UN approach. It further facilitates the conception of common or concerted initiatives in order to raise awareness about various UN programmes and to disseminate key messages.
In relation to the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games 2008, UNOSDP, in the framework of the UNCG Working Group, was instrumental in collecting and disseminating information on the projects undertaken by the UN system at headquarters level as well as in China (see “Games of the XXIX Olympiad and the XIII Paralympic Games in Beijing: The UN System in Action” UNOSDP, 2009 ). Later on the Working Group served as a forum to coordinate efforts in connection with mega-sports events, including the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and Paralympics, the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. The Group will also be working together in issues related to the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games and 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.