UNESCO and European Athletics strengthen collaboration
UNESCO and European Athletics will extend their partnership to promote the power and potential of sport as a driver for integration, development and social cohesion, especially among young people. The announcement will be made on Friday 4 March at the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy (France), coinciding with the opening of the 31st European Athletics Indoor Championships.
Building on the valuable work jointly undertaken to date, the two organisations will agree to stage a number of joint projects, including third and fourth editions of European Athletics-UNESCO Young Leaders Forum at the next two European Athletics Championships, which will be in Helsinki (Finland) in 2012 and then in Zurich (Switzerland) in 2014. New Initiatives such as the European Athletics Young Leaders Community, a social network that is designed to promote volunteering and community development projects in athletics, will also be developed.
Sport has a key role to play in the dissemination of UNESCO’s messages and ideals. The Organisation already helps to coordinate activities related to physical education and sport and supports a number of initiatives that aim, through sport, to strengthen social cohesion, fight discrimination and develop social networks and promote the ideals of peace, solidarity, tolerance and justice.
European Athletics is one of the six Area Associations of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). Every two years it stages the European Athletics Championships.
UNESCO and European Athletics have collaborated regularly since 2006, promoting athletics and the values of sport, particularly among young people. In addition to the organisation of the first two editions of the European Athletics-UNESCO Young Leaders Forum, they delivered anti-doping education projects during the 2007 and 2009 European Athletics Junior Championships.
The announcement of the partnership renewal will be made at 1 pm by Hansjörg Wirz, President of European Athletics and Elizabeth Longworth, Deputy Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, on behalf of the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova.
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