Sport lauded by UN for its power to spur social change
The United Nations (UN) reiterated today its recognition of the autonomy of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and sport as “an important enabler of sustainable development”.
The Resolution on sport at the service of the promotion of education, health and development has been adopted by the 71st Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, and followed up on the resolution initially adopted in 2014. It obtained a consensus from all the Member States, transcending political divisions to uphold the values of sports.
This resulted in a resolution that highlights once again the main areas of sport’s contribution to social development and peace, while underlining certain challenges that the world of sport and governments have ahead of them and to which the IOC is determined to respond.
It affirmed “the invaluable contribution of the Olympic and Paralympic movements in establishing sport as a unique means for the promotion of peace and development, in particular through the ideal of the Olympic Truce, acknowledging the opportunities provided by past Olympic and Paralympic Games, including those held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2016, which, inter alia, inspired youth by the potential presented by sport for social inclusion, as well as the Youth Olympic Games, held in Lillehammer, Norway, in February 2016”.
In addition, the resolution calls “ upon future hosts of such Games and other Member States to include sport, as appropriate, in conflict-prevention activities and to ensure the effective implementation of the Olympic Truce during the Games.”
The resolution is another expression of the close cooperation between the IOC and the UN, based on our shared values of contributing to a better and more peaceful world through sport.Thomas Bach IOC President
“The IOC welcomes the resolution and thanks the United Nations and all its Member States for the confidence in the power of sport to bring about social change,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “The resolution is another expression of the close cooperation between the IOC and the UN, based on our shared values of contributing to a better and more peaceful world through sport.”
The IOC welcomes the renewed recognition of the independence and autonomy of sports organisations, and the role of the IOC and the Olympic Movement more generally. It also acknowledges the strengthening of the text regarding gender equality, an issue that the IOC is keen to see move forward. Its Executive Board recently decided to promote a minimum target of 30 per cent female representation on governing bodies within the Olympic Movement – one measure among numerous IOC initiatives in this area.
The sports movement is undergoing a period of major challenges, which calls for closer cooperation between all entitles concerned, as well as governments, international institutions and civil society as a whole. This new resolution of the General Assembly is fully in line with this approach.The IOC has enjoyed UN Observer Status since 2009.