UNESCO joins development banks in Sport for Development Coalition

UNESCO has joined, as a Founding member,  the Sport for Development Coalition, an initiative spearheaded by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and several other development banks, including the West African Development Bank, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Association of National and Development Finance Institutions of the member countries of the Islamic Development Bank (ADFIMI) and the Latin American Association of Development Finance Institutions, as well as organizations of the sport ecosystem including the International Olympic and Paralympic Committees.

The goal of the Coalition will be to mobilize resources for sports projects, leveraging its impact and capacity to foster development and inclusion. UNESCO’s joining reflects its leading role in the UN system in the sports field, with their hosting of the World Conference of Ministers of Sport; the Kazan Action Plan, and the Antidoping Convention. UNESCO will provide advice and expertise on sport for development standards, policies and tools, and will also develop concrete programs. Coordinated by the AFD, the members of the Coalition will establish a task force to determine a common vision, objectives and an action plan.

This is a major initiative in the sports world especially during the current challenging context worldwide. The Coalition’s first deliverable is the sportencommun platform, an interface that brings together the demand and supply side of sport for development initiatives with measurable impact, especially for vulnerable communities.

The Coalition is timely as sports can help us heal from the COVID-19 pandemic, providing support to the many communities that have been touched, particularly youth and women. Sports will not only help to restore health and resilience, but also to build more cohesive and peaceful societies by disseminating the values of sports, such as empathy, respect, discipline, fair game and team building.
stresses Ms Gabriela Ramos, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences

The Sport for Development Coalition was launched on the occasion of the Finance in Common Summit that gathered for the first time some 450 national, regional and international public development banks. Organized from 11 to 12 November 2020 by the Agence française de développement (AFD) in the context of the 2020 Paris Peace Forum, the Summit dedicated a specific side event to the power of sport to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. It included several high-level panelists: Mr Rémy Rioux, Director General of the AFD; Mr Tony Estanguet, President of Paris 2024; Ms Tanja Gönner, Chair of the Management Board of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ); Mr Serge Ekué, President of the Banque Ouest Africaine de Développement (BOAD); Ms Marie Sallois-Dembreville, Director Corporate and Sustainable Development of the International Olympic Committee (IOC); Mr Amadou Gallo Fall, Vice President and Managing Director Africa of the Basket Africa League; Mr Andrew Parsons, President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC); and Ms Gabriela Ramos for UNESCO.