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SPORT FOR DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE THE UN SYSTEM IN ACTION

Group of Friends New York

 

Structure and membership

The Group of Friends of Sport for Development and Peace was initiated by the Permanent Missions of Switzerland and Tunisia to the United Nations in New York in January 2005, in the framework of the International Year of Sport and Physical Education 2005.

The Group is currently co-chaired by the Permanent Representatives of the Principality of Monaco and Tunisia. The Group of Friends is an open-ended group and currently includes representatives from 46 UN Member States. Joining the Group involves an expression of interest from a Member State (Permanent Representative) sent to the Co-Chairs.

After the initial phase of establishment of the Group in 2005, the membership growth rate since 2008 has been approximately three to four new countries per year.

 
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brazil, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Mali, Monaco, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, United Kingdom, United States of America, and Zambia.

 

Meetings

The Group meets approximately every three months in an informal setting. The meetings serve as an important platform for the exchange of information, comments, suggestions and ideas. Typically, the Co-Chairs convene a meeting on the following occasions:

·         Visit of the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace to UNHQ New York, to receive an informal report and presentation of activities by the latter;

·         Presentations on Sport for Development and Peace by invited guests;

·         Pre-informal consultations on draft resolutions in relation to sport;

·         In conjunction with debates of the General Assembly concerning sport.

Depending on the purpose and occasion, meetings are convened either on the level of Ambassador or on the expert level.

 

Recent activities

Meetings were held throughout 2012 in different configurations and for different purposes and occasions. Meetings took place on the expert level to discuss a first draft General Assembly Resolution on Sport for Development and Peace. A draft jointly agreed by the Group of Friends was then presented to the wider UN Membership in informal consultations, convened by the Co-Chairs.

Throughout the year the Co-Chairs circulated to the Group information by e-mail on various issues, such as the Sport for Development and Peace International Working Group, activities and events related to the 2012 London Games, the Olympic Truce, and Rio+20, official correspondence, e.g. letters relating to sport from Member States addressed to the Secretary-General or the President of the General Assembly.

 

In addition to the meetings, the Group of Friends undertakes various other activities on a regular basis. The Group of Friends (co-)sponsors events, for example as occurred for the high-level Roundtable on Sport for Development and Peace, entitled “The Value of Sport as a Development Tool” held at UN Headquarters in New York on 20 September 2010 in the framework of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Summit.

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