UNAIDS convenes consultation on sport for global advocacy
26 October 2010
Sport has a special ability to unify and galvanize people all over the world and therefore is a powerful vehicle for advocacy at the global down to the community level. In light of the potential of sports for AIDS advocacy, UNAIDS organized a consultation with representatives of several sports organizations and other experts from 24-26 October in Geneva to examine current initiatives and ideas for future activities.
“Sport has tremendous worldwide influence and impact, from the highest level of world championship events to children in remote villages playing with a home-made football,” said UNAIDS Executive Director at the opening of the consultation. “Stronger cooperation with the world of sport can invigorate the global AIDS response in a unique way and help us achieve all the Millennium Development Goals,” he added.
The consultation identified new ways to leverage the convening power of sports to promote HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. Participants also reviewed existing relationships and ways to build and strengthen partnerships between UNAIDS at the global, regional and country-levels, and the world of sports, the private sector, civil society and the media.
UNAIDS has established partnerships with sports personalities and organizations to raise awareness on AIDS issues and to help inform people on how to protect themselves against HIV infection. The 2010 FIFA World Cup initiative “Give AIDS the Red Card”, was backed by international football stars including UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassadors Michael Ballack of Germany and Emmanuel Adebayor of Togo. The campaign used the popularity and the outreach potential of football to unite the world around a common cause—preventing the transmission of HIV from mother-to-child.
Sport has tremendous worldwide influence and impact, from the highest level of world championship events to children in remote villages playing with a home-made football
Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director
This week’s consultation provided a forum to review progress around the “Give AIDS the Red Card” campaign and plan for the next phase. It also enabled discussions on future sports initiatives with UNAIDS’ partners including the International Olympic Committee and the International Cricket Council as well as identifying other cooperation opportunities with sports organizations and sports stars and stronger coordination with Cosponsors.
Participants agreed to explore innovative ways to convey HIV messaging through sports. Because the world of music and culture also has great popular appeal, the meeting also considered linkages with sport-related initiatives to amplify the range of the messages.
Other participants included Mr Adolf Ogi, former President of Switzerland and former Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace; Mr Wilfried Lemke, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace; Mr Krisrten Nematandani, President, South African Football Association; Mr Lebohang Morake (Lebo M), UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador and producer of the 2010 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony; Ms Katia Mascagni, International Olympic Committee; Mr Chris Hurst, Corporate Communications Manager, International Cricket Council; Mr Amadou Fall, Vice President for Development in Africa of the NBA; Mr Adonal Foyle, Retired NBA basketball player and founder of the Kerosene Lamp Foundation; and, Mr Driss Guerraoui, Adviser to the Prime Minister of Morocco and Convener of the Global Youth Forum.