Youth leaders from more than 40 countries participating in the United Nations-sponsored second Pan-African Youth Leadership Summit in Ifrane, Morocco, unanimously agreed today to endorse sport as a way of mobilizing African youth for practical initiatives aimed at advancing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
“The delegates committed to sport as an entry point towards achievement of the MDGs within the framework of the International Year of Sport and Physical Education, and pledged to work towards a future where Africa controls its resources and can offer these to aid building a more peaceful, equitable and sustainable world,” Djibril Diallo, co-chair of the summit and Director of the UN Office of Sport for Development and Peace, said in a statement.
The MDGs are a set of eight targets drawn up at the UN Millennium Summit five years ago to slash a host of socio-economic ills by 2015, including halving extreme poverty and hunger, cutting child mortality rates by two-thirds, and achieving universal primary education and access to health services.
Delegates at the Ifrane summit, held from 18 to 23 August, called on governments, the UN system, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society groups to integrate sport into their development agenda and to dedicate more resources to “sport for all” initiatives at home and abroad, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) said in a statement.
They also committed to working with their regional chairs, those from other regions and the organizers toward the Global Youth Leadership Summit at the UN in New York in August 2006.