PtG Article 27.11.2006

The UN adopts new action plan for sport and development

The United Nation’s General Assembly has unanimously backed a new three year action plan to incorporate sport into development programmes. The plan aims to use sport as a way of reducing conflict, slashing poverty, promoting gender equality and reducing a host of other social problems.

The plan was presented to the General Assembly in a report from UN’s Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

”It is a strategy to better integrate sports into the development agenda; incorporate sport in programmes for health, education, development and peace; utilize sport as a tool to achieve the Millennium Development Goals; and focus greater attention and resources on sport for development and peace,” Annan wrote in the report.

The new plan requests that governments and sports organisations assist developing countries in developing sport programmes particularly focusing on gender equality and on helping armed forces to use sport as a means to promote friendship and build peace and security.

”Sport is an essential low-cost, high impact tool to help us achieve the Millennium Development Goals,” says Adolf Ogi, the Secretary-General’s special adviser on sport for development and peace.

The Millennium Development Goals are an ambitious series of targets which among other things seek to reduce extreme poverty, hunger, maternal and infant mortality and lack of access to education by 2015.

The action plan also asks member states to give voluntary contributions to Mr. Ogi’s UN Office of Sport for Development and Peace based in Geneva and New York. The money will be used for follow-up activities after the United Nations International Year of Sport and Physical Education in 2005.