Ladies and gentlemen,
Dear colleagues and friends,
It is my pleasure to speak to you today on the occasion of the Fourth Forum of the Americas for Sport for Peace and Development.
I wish to thank the organizers for convening today’s event. In particular, I send my special greetings to the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). We have worked closely with the IOC, and continue to collaborate on issues of importance to the United Nations and the Olympic movement, including sport for peace and development.
Sport plays an important enabling role in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) places particular importance on the central promise of the 2030 Agenda to leave no one behind. In this regard, we recognize and promote inclusive sport, for people of all abilities and ages.
- As secretariat for the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, we highlight the World Indigenous Games, which strengthen and celebrate culture and identity.
- As secretariat for the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, we recognize the importance of equal opportunities to practice and enjoy sport and physical activities. And,
- We further highlight the importance of sport in the psychological, cognitive and physical development of young people. The Youth Olympics play an important part this regard.
Last year, UN DESA spearheaded an inter-agency effort to prepare an advocacy brief on the role of sport in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the critical intersection of sport and the SDGs, the UN brief presents ways to maximize the positive impact of sport for development and peace as the world continues to reel from the pandemic.
I look forward to today’s discussions on this important topic.
I thank you.