The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, has welcomed the launch of a Sport for Development Coalition of Public Development Banks (PDBs) and partners, which aims to leverage the power of sport for global sustainability, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations (UN). This will include increased investment and cooperation between development banks and agencies and the international sports movement.
Under the tagline, “More sport, more impact”, the coalition will bring the worlds of development finance and sport together in the shared belief that physical activity and sport can unite very different stakeholders and provide a framework for action in countless areas such as health, education, employment, social inclusion, gender equality, peace and ecological transition. The existing partnership between the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Organising Committees for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024 and the Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2026 already illustrates how such models of collaboration can scale up the impact of action.
In a video message at the launch of the coalition by the AFD, ahead of the first global meeting of PDBs at the Finance in Common Summit on 12 November, President Bach welcomed the initiative.
“The mission of the IOC is to make the world a better place through sport. This is why we support this initiative of the AFD and the public development banks to harness the power of sport to improve lives,” said the IOC President.
“The UN recognised sport as an ‘important enabler’ to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and there are so many areas where sport can contribute to the objectives that we share with the development community.
“Whether in sport, or in facing the many challenges in life, we are always stronger together. In this Olympic spirit, we are looking forward to this new initiative, and wish you every success in promoting more sport, more impact.”
At its launch, this coalition brings together the following permanent members: the AFD, the West African Development Bank (BOAD), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Association of National Development Finance Institutions in member countries of the Islamic Development Bank (ADFIMI), the Latin American Association of Development Finance Institutions (ALIDE),the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KFW) and the Vnesheconombank (VEB.RF). Organisations from the world of sport and other partners also support this initiative: the IOC, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), Paris 2024, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the European Network of Academic Sports (ENAS).
The coalition members have committed to creating a task force in the next few months that will define their common vision, principles and objectives, as well as a work programme and action plan.
Speaking at the launch, Rémy Rioux, the CEO of AFD, said: “Sport is an amazing tool for mobilisation and transformation at the individual level, like development is about solutions at the collective level. Sport and development can go hand-in-hand if we further incorporate very concretely sport into development and development into sport. With the Olympic and Paralympic values, we speak a common language. With the Sustainable Development Goals, we head in the same direction”.
Among the speakers at the event is Marie Sallois-Dembreville, Director of Corporate and Sustainable Development at the IOC, who is participating in a session on mobilising development finance of sustainable sport.