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Group of Friends Geneva


Structure and membership

In December 2012, a number of countries agreed to create the Group of Friends of Sport for Development and Peace Geneva, based in the form and function on the Group of Friends in New York. Because of the proximity of important authorities such as the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace, the United Nations Human Rights Council and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Health Organization and the World Intellectual Property Organization, the initiators considered the establishment of the Group of Friends in Geneva as a natural evolution. This Group has been working closely together with the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace.

The Group is currently co-chaired by the Permanent Representatives of Costa Rica and Qatar. The election of Co-Chairs is on a yearly rotational basis with the possibility of re-election. The Group of Friends is an open-ended, informal and voluntary platform group and currently includes representatives from 30 UN Member States. Joining the Group involves an expression of interest from a Member State (Permanent Representative) sent to the Co-Chairs.

Algeria, Australia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Costa Rica, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Italy, Jordan, Monaco, Morocco, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Senegal, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, The Philippines, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and United States of America.



The Group has four annual meetings on a technical level as well as additional meeting(s) as required. One annual meeting is on Ambassador level. 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 United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace in Geneva, 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 Human Rights Council concerning sport.

Recent activities

  • In December 2012, the Group of Friends Geneva was launched. General views and details on the organization were exchanged and the Special Adviser gave a presentation of past activities and outlook on his future activities.
  • During the second meeting, which was held in April 2013, proposals for future activities of the Co-Chairs and other members have been discussed.

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 a side-event, entitled “Physical activity and NCDs” held at UNOG in Geneva on 24 May 2013 in the framework of the 66th World Health Assembly.

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