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Senior UN Official Stresses The Role Of Sport

Senior UN Official Stresses The Role Of Sport In Helping Attain Global Development

New York, Oct 13 2006 6:00PM

The role of sport in helping attain United Nations global development goals, such as eradicating poverty and fighting disease, will be highlighted throughout this month’s UN Global Youth Leadership Summit that will bring together hundreds of young leaders.

“Sport is the most universal language that you can imagine so that underlining all the sessions is the need to really use sport to bring a new way of dealing with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” said Djibril Diallo, Director of the New York Office of Sport for Development and Peace today, ahead of the Summit from 29-31 October.

“In that connection there will be of course sports figures. For instance we are still in touch with Ronaldinho, he maybe back here in order to show what actions he’s undertaking in connection with the fight against poverty,” he added, referring to the Brazilian soccer star who was appointed a UN Spokesperson for Sport for Development and Peace in August.

Mr. Diallo also said that public service announcements against malaria that were recorded with the captains of many football teams across Africa would be inaugurated during the New York Summit, as a way of showing how sport can be used to publicize key messages.

The MDGs are a set of eight goals set by the UN Millennium summit of 2000 to dramatically slash poverty, illiteracy and a host of other global ills by 2015, but Mr. Diallo, echoing the fears of other officials, said that “unless something is done” many countries will not reach these goals and so one of the key points of this month's gathering is to emphasize the important role of young people in these campaigns.

“The United Nations has recognized the important role younger generations and Member States have in both youth participation, in Government and in the work of the United Nations,” he told reporters in New York.

“Another principle is that forging partnerships for youth initiatives between the United Nations, between Governments, NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and the private sector is vital for creating synergies and mobilizing resources.”

Ends

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