Youth powering the 8th World Conference on Sport, Culture and Education
The 500 Conference participants learned of the impact-oriented work undertaken by youth around the world: whether it be the young representative from Ghana, who has engaged more than 3,600 young people through sport-based education projects in the last year, or the success of a youth-led sports NGO established in Timor Leste which has seen more than 4,000 boys and girls participate in peace building efforts since 2010.
As the young leader representing UNESCO’s partnership with European Athletics noted: “The most important Conference conclusion is that sport is a…valuable and adaptable tool for addressing any challenge in any society..and young people are the natural actors – we are already out there doing it!”
Youth engagement lies at the heart of UNESCO’s work to maximize the benefits of sport for all. Considering that half of the world’s population are under 25 years old and that 75 million young people are unemployed, youth represent a critical mass and it is clear that development cannot and will not be sustainable unless they are fully engaged.
“Sport holds the key for this engagement”, UNESCO’s Deputy Director-General, Mr Getachew Engida, commented during the event, “and we must take every opportunity offered by sport as a learning tool and as a platform for young people to forge channels for their participation in public and political life”