For the first time, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), together with the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), has jointly organised a high-level discussion during the World Investment Forum, dedicated to investing in sport for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This took place on 23 October at the UN headquarters in Geneva.
Olympic Movement representatives, private investors, UN Member States and UN-family agencies and programmes convened to discuss concrete policies and initiatives to further enhance the contribution of sport and sports-related investment to achieving the SDGs.
IOC Vice-President Juan Antonio Samaranch opened the discussion with a keynote speech. “Investing in sport is investing in the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said. “The enormous potential of sport – its global reach, its universal language, its impact on communities in general, and young people in particular – is a fact and is increasingly recognised around the world.”
He also outlined: “The overarching mission of the International Olympic Committee and the entire Olympic Movement is to put sport at the service of the peaceful development of humanity.”
Michael Møller, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, welcomed the participants and added: "As the private sector seeks wider avenues to connect with the public sector on subjects related to the SDGs, the sports area is a multifaceted partner and can serve as a vehicle to actively contribute to development.”
Other sports representatives who joined the panel included:
- Francesco Ricci Bitti, President of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF)
- Samantha Murray (UK), Olympian modern pentathlete who promoted the power of sport in refugee camps
- Stefany Hernández (VEN), Olympian BMX racer engaged in social work and human rights advocacy
The IOC recently published its first Sustainability Report, tracking progress towards achieving its 18 sustainability objectives for 2020.
More information about the IOC Sustainability Report and the IOC Sustainability Strategy can be found here.