1. Why is the 5th International Conference of Ministers for Physical Education and Sport (Berlin, Germany, 28-30 May 2013) important for the sport Movement?
  • Sport can bring cultures and societies together. It promotes a positive message of peace and understanding. It is a universal language, and a means of building bridges between people and nations. Yet, not a month goes by without media reports of a scandal involving doping or corruption in sport. Governments all over the world therefore need to address issues of sport governance. In an era where the socio-economic and developmental potential of sport is increasingly recognized, the conference will provide an opportunity to inform and improve countries’ and international organizations’ policies in this field.
  • MINEPS V is a unique global platform bringing together more than fifty ministers and the most important stakeholders in sport policy from over one hundred countries to take stock of global developments in physical education and sport, determine effective policies and practices, and orient UNESCO’s physical education and sport programme.
  • The conference focused on:
    • Access to sport as fundamental right for all.
    • Promoting investment for physical education and sport programmes.
    • Preserving the integrity of sport.
  1. Why should sport be considered a fundamental right for all?
  • Sport is essential to human development both physically and mentally. It must therefore be available to all people including women and the world’s 600 million people with disabilities. Sport gives people access to public spaces where they can develop new skills, gain support and enjoy freedom of expression and movement. It is also a domain in which women can be empowered to rise to leadership positions.
  1. Why is public investment in physical education and sport so important?
  • Because sport can deliver a wide range of social and economic benefits including:
    • healthy lifestyles, prevention of non-communicable diseases, and a reduction in medical expenditure;
    • dissemination of the values of fair competition, social cohesion and participation in the life of the community;
    • community building;
    • important contribution to growth and jobs;
    • direct and indirect economic benefits of major sport events for the host country’s population.
  1. How can the integrity of sport be reinforced?
  • Challenges to the integrity of sport have increased with growing visibility of some sports and their growing commercial yields. Consequently, the issue needs to be placed higher on the political and sporting agenda.
  • Issues to be tackled include doping, and manipulation of sport competitions often related to betting and trans-border corruption and organized crime. These issues need to be tackled on the national and international levels. UNESCO is fully committed to addressing these issues through the promotion of evidence-based policies. UNESCO works closely with governments, the sports movement and academia to bridge the gap between research, policy and practice hoping to make MINEPS V a milestone in the struggle to promote integrity sport.
  1. What can UNESCO do to fight corruption in sport?
  • Sport federations alone cannot tackle organized crime. National legislation and legal frameworks must be put in place to do so.
  • Because doping, corruption and the manipulation of sport competitions jeopardize the ethical, social, educational and cultural values of sport as well as the socio-economic benefits and organizational structures of sport, the issue lies at the heart of UNESCO’s mandate. Protecting and promoting the integrity of sport is a collective task requiring the engagement of the entire sports movement, governments, the betting industry and society at large. UNESCO stands ready to assist in this process, acting as a broker to advance international thinking and bring together the diverse stakeholders concerned.
  1. What about the fight against doping?
  • This was not a central item on the agenda of MINEPS, as the International Convention against Doping in Sport which was adopted by UNESCO in 2005 provides a separate framework for this work.
  • But the experience gained in the fight against doping is pertinent to our work against corruption and the manipulation of sport competitions, like match-fixing.
  • Together with the use and the trade in prohibited substances and training methods, the corruption and the manipulation of sport competitions are the main threats to the integrity of sport.
  1. What are concrete results from the Ministerial Conference?
  • Ninety experts from all over the world have been consulted during the preparation of the Conference. They prepared inputs to the working documents on each theme and proposed recommendations for the Declaration which was adopted at the end of the Conference.
  • The recommendations concern improving access to physical education and sport, especially for women, girls and people living with a disability.
  • These recommendations also call to increase investment in physical education and sport, recognizing their socio-economic benefits including impact on public health and social inclusion.
  • They also call to increase measures which safeguard the integrity of sport notably from the fraudulent manipulation of sport competitions.

Past MINEPS conferences have made a number of substantial contributions to international dialogue and policy development in physical education and sport, notably:

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