• ENGSO Youth

Maximizing the role of young people in Sport for Development and Peace

ENGSO Youth at the CIGEPS meeting in Geneva, 28-29 March.

The extraordinary session and joint meeting of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for Physical Education and Sport (CIGEPS) was held in Geneva, 28-29 March. CIGEPS is comprised of expert representatives in the field of physical education and sport from 18 UNESCO Member States, each elected for a four year term. The meeting was organised with the invitation of the the Permanent Consultative Council (PCC) members, comprising of key sport federations, UN agencies and NGOs. As a youth-sport umbrella organisation, ENGSO Youth was invited to express the opinion of young people in relation to the meeting’s four key policy documents:

  • Strengthening the global framework for leveraging sport for development and peace (UN Action Plan on SDP)

  • The global action plan on physical activity 2018-2030 (GAPPA)

  • Sport for Climate Action Framework

  • Kazan Action Plan (KAP)

Nevena Vukasinovic (Vice-Chair) and Bence Garamvölgyi (Projects and Policy manager) represented ENGSO Youth in the meeting.

ENGSO Youth welcomes the bold and important steps towards the development of the four above mentioned plans and highly values the collective work of WHO, UNDESA, UNFCC and UNESCO as well as the contributions of all members the global Sport for Development and Peace movement. In our views the Kazan Action Plan is highly consistent in giving youth an important role, since young people are explicitly mentioned not only as target groups but also as co-creators of actions and determinators of the changes on the ground. On the other hand, with regards to the UN Action Plan on SDP, GAPPA and Sports for Climate Action Framework, youth was mostly included only as a target group.

Our Vice-Chair, Nevena Vukasinovic addressed the floor with four ENGSO Youth recommendations to global decision makers in the field of SDP:

1, ENGSO Youth calls for providing a meaningful space for young people’s contributions at high-level policy meetings as well as their involvement in shaping the global SDP agendas. Good examples were made recently at the 2018 Social Forum at the UN premises where young panelists made it even to the cover page of the Forum’s Report and at 2018 Sporting Chance Forum at UNESCO premises in Paris. Consequently, ENGSO Youth believes that young people shall be represented in the CIPEGS Permanent Consultative Council and in the Advisory Board of the Center for Sport and Human Rights.

2, In order to reinforce youth participation in the decision-making processes related to SDP, ENGSO Youth believes recommendations shall be developed within the frameworks of a global SDP youth forum. This forum could be organised ahead of MINEPS VII to be organised in 2021. These youth-led recommendations could be delivered to the decision-makers of MINEPS VII and considered in shaping the next working plans on Sport for Development and Peace.

3. ENGSO Youth believes that there is an urgent need to mainstream sport policies in global youth policies in relation to sustainable development and SDGs. The recent UN Youth Strategy (Youth 2030) does not refer to the role of youth sport as an important enabler of the Sustainable Development Goals. Therefore, ENGSO Youth invites the global youth sector to take into consideration the role of sport and develop youth-led policies in relations to the contribution of youth sport to sustainable development.

4, ENGSO Youth further calls on the global SDP movement to conduct a large-scale mapping on the existence of sport youth entities within sport governing bodies and global SDP entities (e.g. youth councils, committees or youth consultative bodies). We have learned that the Indigenous Sports Movement have their own youth committee, the International School Sport Federation has a youth council, Sports Confederation of Portugal has recently established a youth committee, the Commonwealth Secretariat has a Youth Sport for Development and Peace Working Group and the Youth Sport Task Force in Asia-Pacific has already been in place for one year. There is a need for data in relation to the involvement of young people in sport and SDP related decision making processes in order to further promote the establishment of such youth-sport entities.

The participation of ENGSO Youth was highly appreciated by the members of CIGEPS and its Permanent Consultative Council. For instance the Slovak Minister for Education specifically mentioned the participation of ENGSO Youth as a good example and stressed the importance of sport-based non-formal education to foster active citizenship of young European citizens.

ENGSO Youth is committed to work for the better representation of young people in the global Sport for Development and Peace movement and we sincerely hope that our recommendations will already be taken into consideration in the run-up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

#cigeps #youthactiveparticipation #UNESCO #sportdiplomacy