What is MINEPS?

The International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sport (MINEPS) was first held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris in 1976. The forum was created to facilitate intellectual and technical exchange in the field of physical education and sport and as an institutional mechanism to articulate a coherent international strategy in this domain.  Accordingly, the Conference engages governments, organizations from the United Nations system and the Sports Movement. The recommendations arising from these discussions have helped to strengthen the educational, cultural and social dimensions of physical education and sport.

What is the added value/ potential of MINEPS?

MINEPS is the only global platform of its kind in the world. Since its creation, three further MINEPS Conferences have been convened by UNESCO (Moscow, Russian Federation, in 1988; Punta del Este, Uruguay, in 1999; and Athens, Greece, in 2004). The outcomes of MINEPS help to guide the implementation of effective policies and practices by governments around the world. They also set the overall direction of UNESCO’s international physical education and sport program.

Since its creation, MINEPS has made a number of substantial contributions to international dialogue and policy development. For example, MINEPS I played an important role in the development of the seminal International Charter of Physical Education and Sport (1978) which establishes the practice of physical education and sport as a fundamental right for all.

The creation of the Intergovernmental Committee for Physical Education and Sport (CIGEPS) was another recommendation of MINEPS I. This Committee was established to promote international cooperation, to drive government action in the field of physical education and sport, and as an institutional mechanism to ensure the implementation of the recommendations of MINEPS.

Other key achievements of the Conference include the inception of the International Fund for the Development of Physical Education and Sport (FIDEPS), political endorsement of the Berlin Agenda for Action adopted by the World Summit on Physical Education during MINEPS III. MINEPS IV provided a key platform for the negotiation of the International Convention against Doping in Sport (2005 ).

Previous MINEPS Conferences

MINEPS I, held in Paris in April 1976 on UNESCO’s initiative, began a process of international work on a strategy for developing physical education and sport (PES), regarded as an essential aspect of the right to education and as a dimension of culture that is a component of modern humanism and a key component in the harmonious formation of human beings.

Whereas MINEPS I was dominated by the question of the need for a new international sports order, MINEPS II (Moscow, November 1988) reflected on the importance of the challenges and dangers arising from the spectacular development of sport, nationally and internationally. MINEPS II particularly focused on issues such as

  • PES in schools and universities;
  • Promotion of sport for all;
  • Safeguarding the ethical values of sport and countering influences harmful to sport such as commercialization, violence and doping; and
  • Contribution of sporting values to society, peace and mutual understanding.

Organized 11 years after MINEPS II, MINEPS III (Punta del Este, Uruguay, 1999) showed itself to be vital for gauging the progress made, cataloguing the difficulties and constraints encountered and setting new aims, especially for the first decade of the third millennium.  The conference aimed to translate into action the principles of the International Charter of Physical Education and Sport, the Olympic Charter and other international instruments. Subjects of particular interest were

  • The contribution of PES to sustainable economic development;
  • PES, an integral part and fundamental element of the right to education and the process of continuing education; and
  • New forms of cooperation and consultation in the field of PES at the national, regional and international levels.

MINEPS IV (Athens, Greece, 2004) aimed to respond in a detailed manner to the need to give practical expression to the priorities defined by MINEPS III, and by the 2003 Round Table of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sport, around three themes:

  • Promotion of universal and ethical values inherent in sport;
  • Development of PES in education systems; and
  • Crucial need for equity regarding women and sport.

In order to give real scope to these three themes, the preparation of an international convention against doping in sport was established as a result of the conference.

See also : Reports of MINEPS Conferences

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