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Timeline of major developments in sport and development

Timeline of major developments in sport and development

Sport and development has emerged and continues to evolve because of major international policy developments. Here is a chronological list of some of the key milestones that have occured over the past few decades, putting sport as a tool for development on an international agenda.

1978 – UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation) General Conference adopts the International Charter of Physical Education and Sport

1997 – Heads of State and Government of the European Commission focus special attention on sport during the Amsterdam treaty negotiations, during which it was stated that "the Conference emphasises the social significance of sport, in particular its role in forging identity and bringing people together".

2001 – UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan appoints Mr. Adolf Ogi (former President of the Swiss Confederation) as the first Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace to enhance the network of relations between UN organisations and the sports sector.

2002 – The UN Secretary-General convenes the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Sport for Development and Peace to review activities that involve sport within the UN system.

2003 – First International Conference on Sport & Development, Magglingen, Switzerland. The conference was the first international, high-level event on Sport & Development, involving participants from sports federations, governments, UN agencies, the media, athletes, business and civil society.

2003 – First Next Step conference: ‘International Expert Meeting on Development in and through Sport’, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. On a different level to the Magglingen conference series, the Next Step conference was established to target practitioners, mostly at the grassroots level, to share experiences and best practices in Sport & Development.

2004 – Roundtable forum: Harnessing the Power of Sport for Development and Peace, Athens, Greece. The roundtable forum was hosted during the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and brought together political leaders and experts in development to discuss the potential of sport in achieving development goals. The roundtable forum laid the cornerstones for establishing the Sport for Development and Peace International Working Group (SDPIWG) creating a new policy framework for the use of sport for development and peace.

2005 – International Year of Sport and Physical Education (IYSPE) 2005 is proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

2005 – The Sport for Development and Peace International Working Group (SDPIWG) is formed, with representatives from Ministers of Sport, Youth and Development from 15 countries, directors of UN agencies, and NGOs in the field of Sport for Development and Peace.

2005 – Second Magglingen Conference on Sport & Development, Magglingen, Switzerland. Read the Magglingen Call to Action

2005 – Second Next Step conference, Livingstone, Zambia.

2005 – Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sport (CABOS) established.

2007 – Third conference ‘Next Step’, Windhoek, Namibia. Inaugural meeting of the sportanddev Steering Board held at the Next Step conference.

July 2007 – European Commission publishes a White Paper on Sport  stating it will promote the use of sport as a tool for development in international development policy.

January 2008 – IOC and the UN agree on an expanded framework for action to use sport to reach the goals of the UN.

2008 – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon appoints Mr. Wilfried Lemke as the new Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, after Mr. Adolf Ogi steps down.

July 2008 – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon establishes a trust fund on Sport for Development and Peace

2009 – First UN-IOC Forum on Sport for Development and Peace held in Lausanne, Switzerland

2010 – sportanddev highlights Sport & Development at the 2010 FIFA World Cup

May 2011 Second UN-IOC Forum on Sport, Peace and Development held in Geneva, Switzerland

November 2011 – Fourth conference 'Next Step' held in Trinidad & Tobago. 

2012 – Meeting of Experts (including sportanddev) in Sport & Development held at the Commonwealth Secretariat to develop guidelines on Sport for Development and Peace to be used throughout the Commonwealth. 

June 2013 Third UN-IOC Forum on Sport for Peace and Development held in New York, USA. The forum closed with a call for a United Nations International Day of Sport and Physical Activity. 

August 2013 – The 67th United Nations General Assembly proclaims that 6 April is to be observed as the "International Day of Sport for Development and Peace". 

February 2014 – The fifth edition of the Next Step conference is held in New Delhi, India. Live streaming coverage was provided on sportanddev.

April 2014 – On 6 April 2014 the inaugural UN observed International Day of Sport for Development and Peace was celebrated globally. sportanddev provided coverage of the day.

May 2014 – Responding to requests from the S&D community for different language versions of sportanddev, a French language version of the site was launched to better service the fast growing French speaking S&D community.

June 2014 – A Sport for Development and Peace International Working Group (SDP IWG) Thematic Meeting was held in Geneva, Switzerland on addressing Gender-Based Violence in and through sport.

September 2015  Sport is recognised in the sustainable development goals as an important enabler of sustainable development.

October 2015 – Beyond Sport Summit hosts the launch of the Child Safeguards to make sport safer for children.

May 2017  The UN Secretary General António Guterres announces the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP) has closed. 

July 2017  The 6th International Conference of Ministers Responsible for Sport and Physical Education (MINEPS VI) adopts the Kazan Action Plan.

May 2018 sportanddev.org attends the IWG World Conference on Women and Sport in Gaborone, Botswana. 

Please note that this list is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather attempts to provide an overview of the major policy developments in Sport & Development.