Geneva, Switzerland (UNOSDP) - The World Forum on Sport and Culture was held from 19 to 22 October in Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan, including a conference on “Sport for Tomorrow” featuring the Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace, Mr. Wilfried Lemke, as a keynote speaker.
The initiative was hosted by the Government of Japan, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Sciences and Technology (MEXT), the Japan Sports Agency and was supported by the World Economic Forum. In the lead-up to multiple major sporting events held in Japan, the Forum aimed to inform on how sports, culture and economics can be used to explore new opportunities to create sustainable legacies.
Among the points raised in the Forum, three principal pillars were identified: the enhancement of human qualities, the promotion of exchanges among people from around the world and the creation of new economies and cultures.
On 21 October in Tokyo, the Special Adviser addressed the Forum explaining the role of sport for development and peace in governmental policies, as well as the United Nations current efforts and future prospects to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Other participants of the panel - Hirokazu Matsuno, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Daichi Suzuki, Commissioner of the Japan Sports Agency, Ng Ser Miang, Executive Board Member, International Olympic Committee and Craig Reedie, President, World Anti-Doping Agency – focused on topics such as "Sport for All" and the "Protection of Sport Integrity."
Mr. Lemke called for a more cohesive and coordinated global framework to enhance the work of the sport for development and peace field.
“It is important to leverage major sporting events like this to stimulate development, education and healthy lives” said Mr. Lemke, encouraging governments to advocate for the integration of sport for development and peace into international, national and regional plans and policies. The “Sport For Tomorrow” initiative is a great and relevant example for other governments holding major sporting events, as the project is firmly integrated in the preparation of the upcoming mega sport events in Japan.
In the lead-up to the 2019 Japan Rugby World Cup and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, strategic collaboration of governments, federations and grassroots stakeholders is vitally important to ensure a sustainable and long-term impact. UNOSDP will continue to work closely with its partners to ensure that major sporting events leave behind a tangible and inclusive legacy.