United Nations Headquarters, New York, 3 April 2019. In observance of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace that is celebrated worldwide on 6 April, the UN Department of Global Communications, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the UN Office for Partnerships and the Missions to the UN of Monaco and the State of Qatar convened the event “Sports for Sustainable Development Goals .” It aimed to broaden the awareness of the significant, tangible and positive contribution sport makes to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and to inspire influential individuals and sport-related institutions to commit to playing a part in advancing the SDGs.
The event featured a series of Davos -style conversations showcasing sporting initiatives and partnerships that promote the SDGs. Participants in the conversations included international sporting organizations, such as the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN), the National Baseball Association, and the International Paralympic Committee. Participants and audience members from the sporting industries were also invited to make concrete commitments to support the SDGs.
UNICRI Director a.i. Ms. Bettina Tucci Bartsiotas spoke at the event to reaffirm UNICRI’s commitment to the positive use of sport in contribution to the SDGs. Ms. Bartsiotas noted the importance of leveraging the appeal of sport in the aid of development and peace and highlighted UNICRI’s work in this area, such as the help it provides to sporting organizations to empower young people in the Sahel and Maghreb regions.
Furthermore, she explained that one of the most prominent Program of UNICRI is focused on Major Events Security and it is aimed at improving policies and standards to protect sporting events.The Programme, established in 2004, have assisted more than 50 Member States in the preparation of international sporting events, providing technical assistance to policy-makers, law enforcement agencies and security practitioners at the international, national and the local level.
Two strategic elements considered by the Programme, which typically ensure the organization of successful and secure sporting events, are the engagement of local communities and the establishment of private and public partnerships. Those elements, in the longer term, also became the basis for UNICRI to develop specific projects to promote sport integrity and the use of sports as a vehicle of social cohesion and dialogue, promoting the view that sport is a key factor to support sustainable development.