6 December 2005

Mainstream Sport in Development Agenda, Secretary-General Urges Conference

NEW YORK, 5 December (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's video message to the International Conference on Sport and Development in Magglingen, Switzerland, yesterday, 4 December:

People in every nation love sport.  It celebrates universal values.  It makes vital contributions to health, education, development and peace.  It is an essential part of our lives.

That's why the United Nations is turning to the world of sport in our work for peace and our efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.  And it's why you have gathered today for the culmination of the International Year of Sport and Physical Education.

I salute the Governments, sports organizations, the private sector and community groups that have made the Year a success.  You have helped build momentum for mainstreaming the power of sport in the global development agenda.

I also thank Mr. Adolf Ogi, my Special Adviser, and his team, for helping generate global awareness about the vital contributions of sport.

This Conference will take our activities to the next stage by defining a common agenda, and advancing sport's potential as a tool for achieving global development goals.

Please accept my best wishes for a successful meeting.  I look forward to seeing lasting results.

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