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The United Nations Office for Partnerships (UNOP), serves as a gateway for public-private partnerships with the United Nations system, in furtherance of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

In Early 2004, the Executive Office of the Secretary-General entrusted UNOP with increased responsibilities on the question of Sport for Development and Peace. This role included providing support to Mr. Adolf Ogi, the former Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace and advocating the International Year of Sport and Physical Education (IYSPE) 2005, in collaboration with the UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP). The United Nations Office for Partnerships also actively encourages the use of sport as a tool to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

Since 2004, UNOP has provided guidance to many sports entities on how best to collaborate with the UN system. In August 2004, it co-sponsored a Roundtable Forum in Athens, Greece entitled “Harnessing the Power of Sport for Development and Peace” during which the call for an International Working Group on Sport for Development and Peace (SDP IWG) was put forth. UNOP has also provided strategic guidance for initiatives such as the World Diversity Cup of Peace NYC 2006 (a soccer tournament for international youth), International Development Through Sport (a program organized through Commonwealth Games Canada that aims to address pressing social and community development needs) and NYC2012 (the New York City bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games).  

Below is a list of selected of partnership initiatives which UNOP has been involved with. For more information, please contact the Office or visit their website.

  • Nike Foundation: This foundation seeks to encourage physical activity amongst children worldwide, and engage them in teamwork through sport. Nike strives to empower children, especially girls, through sport and secure a more prominent position for girls on the international development agenda. UNOP is a strong supporter of the work done by the Nike Foundation and its contributions to the MDGs.
  • Right To Play: An international humanitarian organization that uses sport and play programmes to improve health, develop life skills, and foster peace for children and communities in the most disadvantaged areas of the world. Working in both the humanitarian and development context, Right To Play builds local capacity by training community leaders as coaches to deliver its programs in more than 20 countries affected by war, poverty, and disease in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. UNOP has supported Right to Play since 2003, advising the organization on how to effectively use sport to achieve the MDGs.
  • Nothing but Net’s Campaign: In 2006, the National Basketball Association and the UN Foundation launched the ‘Nothing but Nets’ initiative – a grassroots campaign asking individuals to donate $10 to “send a net, save a life”.   Each $10 donation pays for an insecticide treated bed net to a family in need in Africa, and provides education on its proper use to prevent Malaria.
  • Peace and Sport: This international organization based in Monaco seeks to promote sustainable peace by raising awareness and educating youth about peace using the values of sport. Its role is to provide a common platform enhancing the cooperation between political leaders, the world of sports, civil society groups, international organizations and corporations. UNOP has supported Peace and Sport since 2008, encouraging the organization to reinforce the role of sport to achieve the objectives of the MDGs. UNOP also participated in its annual International Forum ‘Peace and Sport’, which addressed the growing importance of partnership between the business sector, philanthropists and the UN system, as well as, the opportunities and challenges that partnerships present for the Sports arena.

Ms. Lucie Brigham
Chief of Office
E-mail: brigham(at)un.org 

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