MINEPS 2013 information meeting at UNESCO on 31 January 2013
13 February 2013
On 31 January 2013 UNESCO hosted an information meeting on MINEPS, the Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sport, in which the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) and representatives of Germany’s Permanent Delegation to UNESCO participated. This conference will be held by UNESCO and the BMI in cooperation with the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE) in Berlin from 28 to 30 May 201.
The information meeting at UNESCO attended by more than a hundred participants was chaired by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and was very favourably received by the delegations present. UNESCO was also represented by Pilar Alvarez-Laso (Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences) and Alexander Schischlik (Team Leader, Anti-Doping and Sport Programme), the BMI by Gerhard Böhm (Directorate-General for Sport) and Wolfgang Schulze (Deputy Head of MINEPS project group), and the Permanent Delegation by Ambassador Michael Worbs.
Director-General Bokova started by describing the role of sport as a means to build bridges and underlined its importance for social inclusion, peace and international understanding and for imparting values such as respect and fairness. Director-General Böhm informed participants on the state of play of conference preparation and introduced the planned priorities of MINEPS V. He explained that in Berlin discussions would focus on access to sport as a fundamental right for all (1), promoting investment in sport and physical education programmes (2) and strategies to preserve the integrity of sport (3). Concerning the integrity of sport Mr Böhm said:
“In addition to the scourge of doping, the manipulation of sport betting (match fixing) has become a serious threat to the integrity of sport, which can be met successfully only with a world-wide coordinated approach.”
Given the positive feedback and the great interest shown by many Member States, the information meeting can be considered an important success in mobilizing international partners to attend MINEPS V. Various countries, for example, offered to host regional preparatory meetings and provide financial assistance to the conference, while others promised to attend and actively participate in Berlin. Director-General Bokova, Director-General Böhm and Ambassador Worbs paid tribute to MINEPS V as the only UNESCO world conference of ministers in 2013 and as an important sport policy event in Germany.