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Media-led Conversations At Tokyo Olympics To Harness The Power And Inspiration Of Sports To Achieving The Global Goals

United Nations and the Asahi Shimbun join forces to showcase expert and influential voices at “SDG ZONE at TOKYO”

21 July 2021, Tokyo - The United Nations Department of Global Communications (DGC), United Nations Information Centre Tokyo (UNIC Tokyo), and the Asahi Shimbun Company will hold an online event “SDG ZONE at TOKYO” to discuss ideas and approaches to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the power of sport on 28-30 July and 25-28 August 2021.

Sport promotes values such as diversity, tolerance and respect and contributes to the empowerment of women and young people, individuals and communities, as well as to health, education and social inclusion objectives.

Under the theme “Teaming Up through Sport to Advance the SDGs,” athletes are joined by influencers and innovators from civil society, the business sector, academia, national and local governments, and the UN system, to discuss the power of sport to solve global issues.

From climate action to gender equality, promotion of equality and diversity, protection of the rights of persons with disabilities, innovation, and community development, 24 speakers and moderators exchange insights on how sport brings values and inspiration that contribute to building a world where everyone thrives in peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet.
The event will be streamed globally as a part of the SDG Media Zone initiative, which has been organized by DGC since 2016, to provide a dynamic platform for global voices during major events such as the UN General Assembly, the High-level Political Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals, and other key international moments. 

SDG ZONE at TOKYO is the first of its series to be organized fully by DGC’s office at the country level. All six sessions of SDG ZONE at TOKYO will be streamed globally on UNWebTV, the UN’s video streaming platform, with English and Japanese subtitles. The videos will also be archived on the SDG Media Zone website and UNIC Tokyo’s website

SDG ZONE at TOKYO is based on the Letter of Intent concluded between the United Nations and the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2018 which aims at promoting the contribution of sport to sustainable development and supporting the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Programme of the SDG ZONE at TOKYO (speakers in alphabetical order)

Session 1 “Sport for Development and Peace” (Wednesday, 28 July)
-Pur Biel, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador
-Tsuyoshi Kitazawa, Former member of the national soccer team and member of the Executive Committee of Japan Football Association
-Izumi Nakamitsu, UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs
-Mary Popeo, Co-Founder, Peace Culture Village

Session 2 “Sport for Sustainability and Climate Action” (Thursday, 29 July)
-Hannah Mills, Olympic athlete (sailing), Founder of Big Plastic Pledge

-Soichi Noguchi, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Astronaut

-Archana Soreng, Member of the UN Secretary-General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change
-Ryan Takeshita, Former-Editor-in-Chief of HuffPost Japan

Session 3 “Reflecting on Diversity from Gender and Sport” (Friday, 30 July)
-Aya Medany, Member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes' Commission and Olympian (modern pentathlon)
-Etsuko Ogasawara, Executive Director, Japanese Center for Research on Women in Sport (JCRWS) at Juntendo University
-Fumino Sugiyama, Co-Chair of Tokyo Rainbow and member of the Executive Board of Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC)
-Kosuke Inagaki, Staff writer of the Asahi Shimbun

Session 4 “How Para-athletes see ‘Sport and Possibilities’” (Wednesday, 25 August)
-Kaede Maegawa, Paralympic athlete (athletics)
-George Wyndham, Paralympic athlete (table-tennis)
-Miki Matheson, Project Manager, Nippon Foundation Paralympic Support Center and Paralympian (ice sledge racing)

Session 5 “Designing Society through the Evolution of Sport” (Thursday, 26 August)
-Ken Endo, CEO of Xiborg
-Lucy Meyer, Spokesperson for the Special Olympics-UNICEF USA Partnership
-Tomohiro Sawada, Representative of World Yuru Sports Association and Copywriter
-Miyuki Hokugo, Staff writer of Asahi Shimbun in charge of the SDGs Project

Session 6 “A Legacy for the Next Generation Beyond Tokyo 2020” (Friday, 27 August)
-Abraham Majok Matet Guem, Olympic athlete (athletics)
-Roxana Maracineanu, Minister of Sport, France, and Olympian (swimming)
-Philipp Müller-Wirth, Executive Officer for Sport, Sector for Social and Human Sciences, UNESCO
-Ryu Yamamoto, Mayor of Maebashi city, Gunma prefecture, Japan
-Melissa Fleming, UN Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications

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