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A call for action following the closure of the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP)

Copyrights: Flickr: Crystal

A call for action following the closure of the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP)

The Steering Board has released a statement following the recent closure of the UNOSDP.

The closure of the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP) was announced on 4 May. The office, with its special advisor, had been an important high-level representative of the sport and development sector since 2001, coordinating the sport-related work of different UN agencies. It had the ability to reach across different topics and to unite various actors including international organisations, civil society and governments. We would like to thank the UNOSDP’s staff and the two previous special advisers, Alfred Ogi and Wilfried Lemke, for their work.

We believe that there is now a need for leaders in the sport and development sector to assume responsibility. While we regret the closure of UNOSDP, we also see it as an opportunity to further evolve the sector together. With sport being profiled as an enabler of development in the sustainable development goals, the sector has gained important momentum within mainstream development policies. This will not end with the closure of the UNOSDP. Many of U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres’ priorities, for example youth engagement, are closely aligned with our own and represent areas where sport and development approaches can and will make a critical contribution.

We are calling for leaders in the sector, such as the Group of Friends of Sport for Development and Peace, the International Olympic Committee, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and other sporting organisations to come together to map future actions and representation.

The purpose of such dialogue would be threefold:

1) To assess the needs of the SDP sector in relation to high level representation and advocacy

2) To prioritise action and next steps to build on current momentum

3) To agree on mechanisms to ensure that the sector is represented by a dynamic, high-level representative or group on the policy level; that there is a high-level of coordination and coherence among policy makers within the UN system and between governments, the UN and the sporting movement; and that bridges are built between policymakers, practitioners and researchers

The Steering Board of the International Platform on Sport and Development stands by’s core values of impartiality, community and collaboration. We offer to engage in and support this dialogue with other leaders in the sector in order to continue to drive the sector forward.

- The Steering Board is the leading learning resource, networking tool and communications platform in the sport and development sector. The Steering Board is responsible for the initiative’s strategic direction. Cross-cutting in nature, the Steering Board is comprised of leading NGOs, governments and sports federations in sport and development. The Steering Board can be contacted by emailing Marc Probst, executive director, on


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Monday, June 19, 2017 - 14:53