Fourth Session - 2013

The fourth session of the Conference of Parties was held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris from 19 to 20 September 2013.

The Conference of Parties is a statutory conference held every two years to oversee the implementation and monitoring of the International Convention against Doping in Sport in line with its provisions.

Responsible for ensuring the overall implementation of the International Convention against Doping in Sport, enacted by the General Conference of UNESCO in October 2005, the Conference of the States Parties to this Convention is held every two years at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris.

This Conference feeds several objectives, including providing a platform for discussion and debate on public policy in the fight against doping, ensuring harmonization, coordination and effectiveness of the global legal and policy framework against this scourge.

In addition to the 174 countries that had ratified the Convention as of 1 August 2013*, all Member States of UNESCO were invited to participate in the fourth session.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) participated in an advisory capacity, with the presence of key partners which participated as observers, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the Council of Europe (CoE), the Intergovernmental Committee for Physical Education and Sport (CIGEPS), various intergovernmental and international sports organizations, and various other major actors such as the Court of Sport Arbitration (CAS), the International Federation of Athletic Associations (IAAF), the International Federation of Sport Medicine, the Institute of National Anti-Doping Organisations (INADO), etc..

This conference constitutes the main framework for monitoring and assessing the implementation of the Convention, its fourth session provides a unique opportunity to ascertain the policies and programs of fight against doping in sport developed by governments at the national level.

Through a specific system for monitoring the Convention established by UNESCO - which was the first of its kind in monitoring and evaluation of United Nations conventions - individual reports will be presented.

Based on an online questionnaire and analysis tool ("Anti-Doping Logic"), this system is made available to governments and anti-doping authorities, to identify strengths and weaknesses, country by country, for detection, deterrence and prevention of doping in sport. It also helps to ensure that the measures taken by governments are in accordance with the provisions of the Convention, which entered into force in 2007.

At the previous session of the Conference, held in November 2011, the analysis of the responses provided by the 99 States who completed the online questionnaire was thus possible to consider that 74% of them were in conformity with the Convention.

To encourage monitoring of the implementation of the Convention, the Conference had decided that only States that responded to the questionnaire could now benefit from the Fund for the Elimination of Doping in Sport, for which it has also authority to supervise. This Fund, established in 2008 to develop the capacity to fight against doping in the world, has to its credit more than $ 3.2 million USD and has funded more than 80 national and international projects.

Among other prerogatives, the Conference of States Parties to the International Convention against Doping in Sport is also responsible for the review and approval of any amendment to the Convention. The "Prohibited List - International Standard" (Annex I of the Convention), thereby ensuring that governments and the sporting movement apply the same list of prohibited substances and methods in 2014, will be publicly released by the WADA on 1st October 2013 and follow the process of consultation of States Parties under the provisions of the Convention.

Since its inception, UNESCO advocates the principles of equality and justice, it serves as the appropriate framework for nations to lay the ethical limits to scientific and technical progress. As an Organization in the United Nations system with an institutional mandate for sport, UNESCO has promoted the development of the International Convention against Doping in Sport, which was the first legal instrument against doping worldwide.

UNESCO stands on principles of equality, justice and progress. In its role of Secretariat to the Convention, UNESCO acts to facilitate the development of global anti-doping means for governments to back the efforts of the sporting movement, particularly with the Organization’s strong interest in education, the fundamental rights and values underpinning physical education and sport.

The erosion of ethics and gross inequalities created by the use of performance enhancing drugs for athletes remains a challenge. The impact of doping in sport transcends the spheres of sport, because it can affect young people's expectations with respect to the set of values that underpin our society, first and foremost values of equity and justice.


Marcellin Dally, m.dally(at)

* 176 States Parties have ratified the Convention as of November 2013.

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