New York, 21 June 2020 - The State of Qatar and the Principality of Monaco, represented by their permanent delegations to the United Nations in their capacity as co-Chairs of the Group of Friends of Sport for Sustainable Development, have initiated a Joint Declaration that was adopted by 118 member states on the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on sport, physical activity and well-being and its effects on social development.
The declaration, a copy of which was delivered to HE UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, expressed the conviction of the importance of sport and physical activity in promoting education, sustainable development, peace, cooperation, solidarity, equity, social inclusion, and health.
The declaration stressed the strong support for the results of the policy brief of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs on the COVID-19 impact on the sport, physical activity, and well-being and its effects on social development.
The joint declaration underscored the importance of sport and activity at this difficult time, despite urgent priorities, stressing its usefulness for physical and mental health, and in relieving stress and anxiety.
It pointed to the role of technology in facilitating participation in physical activities through online lessons and training, acknowledging that a large part of humanity does not have access to the Internet and that many live in difficult conditions and overcrowded homes, as well as in conditions of armed conflict; In this context, the declaration welcomed UN General Assembly Resolution 16/74 on building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal.
The declaration commended the efforts made by all stakeholders, such as international and national sports federations and entities, that have already begun work to reschedule sporting events, when possible.
Also, it welcomed the Memorandum of Understanding signed on May 17, 2020, between the International Olympic Committee and the World Health Organization, stressing that all other examples of solidarity, cooperation, and joint awareness campaigns should be encouraged.
The joint declaration expressed the belief that sport can help build more inclusive, equal, and resilient societies. it stressed that sport is a global language and can overcome barriers, change perceptions, build mutual understanding and trust, and bring people together.
It emphasized the importance of providing sporting opportunities for everyone, especially children, women, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and people with weak conditions, without any kind of discrimination.
The declaration underlined the importance of supporting sport and physical activity to achieve the goals of sustainable development and enhance the resilience of economic and social systems.
"We call on all States to include sport and physical activity in their recovery plans for after COVID-19 and to integrate sport and physical activity into their national sustainable development strategies," the joint declaration concluded.a