Continuing its efforts to harness the power of sport to raise awareness about international issues and effect social change, the United Nations is partnering with volleyball to use the sport to spotlight the campaign to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The two-year partnership agreement between the UN and the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB), signed in the Japanese capital, Tokyo, provides for the use of the federation’s tournaments to raise awareness about UN actions, themes, values and campaigns that advance efforts to attain the MDGs.
The goals, which include eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, the achievement of universal primary education, promoting gender equality, combating HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and improving women and children’s health, have an achievement deadline of 2015.
“The United Nations has long recognized the crucial role that sport federations can play in promoting sustainable development and peace-building,” said Wilfried Lemke, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, at the signing of the agreement with Jizhong Wei, the FIVB President, at the Women’s Volleyball World Cup event.
“The 2015 deadline for achieving the MDGs is coming closer every day and through this partnership with FIVB, we will be able to reach out to many more and to use volleyball as a vehicle for delivering our messages and programmes,” he added.
Mr. Wei noted that FIVB considered carrying out its social responsibility work with the UN to be both an opportunity and a duty.
“Volleyball is actively enjoyed by over half a billion people worldwide, which makes it potentially a strong medium for contributing to the work and mission of the UN in the years to come.”
The partnership provides for joint promotional measures, including messages on perimeter boards, videos, players’ engagement, media packs and guides, as well as specific joint campaigns relevant to a host nation or an event.
The UN ‘End Poverty 2015’ campaign is being promoted during both the ongoing women’s tournament (4-18 November) and the upcoming men’s tournament (20 November-4 December).