Monday, October 30, 2017

Achieving SDGs through sport – Episode 5 - Dr. Gilles Klein

Achieving SDGs through sport – Episode 5
Dr. Gilles Klein, 30 October 2017

Last Monday, we left off on a question as vast as it was intriguing: Forests, physical education, youth sport, who will pay? It is a question of common sense or rather a matter of matriochki, these Russian dolls of decreasing size placed one inside the other. First of all, is it desirable to ask who will pay the bill for of the transformation of the world and then to understand how youth sport can be the beneficiary of part of that? However, the news makes me start with the little matriochka, that is to say, to reverse the reasoning by leaving in space a moment of the global agenda to come without digression to our target: the financing of the youth sport.


To achieve this, today, we will make a detour via Lausanne, where the seminar Achieving SDGs through sport was held on 5 October. In the Olympic capital, the political and institutional world of sport questioned how sport can contribute to the UN 2030 program and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The question of the participation of sport in the achievement of the universal objectives was of course at the center of the debate by the implementation of Article 37 of the United Nations program. The financing of sustainable development through sport recurred in the panelists' interventions.


Can sport, and under what conditions, contribute to transforming the world? Nelson Mandela would probably have had a lot to say on this issue. Last March, we paid tribute to the memory of South Africa’s father and his "truth and reconciliation"[1] policy inspired by the African philosophy of Ubuntu[2]. In this reconciliation, there was no question of sport, but of pain and physical and moral atrocities. Yet, for the former leader of the ANC, sports was an essential tool in the reconciliation process of the communities. In 2000, he declared: "Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to unite people in an almost unique way. Sport can create hope where there is only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers. Sport is played out by all types of discrimination ". Sports was for Mandela both an idea, an ethic, a policy. It was, above all, a daily tool for renewing broken links in local communities.


If Mandela inspires our approach, his humility obliges us. Throughout the episodes, I feel and will always feel obliged to remember an obvious humility - the pleasure of a sports spectacle or the passion of its practice may seem far removed from the ambition to change the world. After all, winning or losing a football match, an athletics competition, is the only sport that is a long way from the happiness or misfortune of a person's life or the fate of the world.


However, like Mandela, all athletes know this. The training stadium or the competition arena are tremendous places to address issues of inequality and human rights, respect for nature and environment. The physical education course or school sports training is a privileged space for education on issues of gender, social inclusion, respect for others and diversity. The fitness gym, and sometimes the weight training workshops, offer special moments for health prevention, hygiene education, and food or learning lifestyles. It is during the meeting of a small club office meeting or the board of a federation that one learns the alphabet of governance and the fight against any form of corruption. Wherever it is on the planet, it is in the diversity of these sports venues that children and young people begin to perceive the great societal issues that they will encounter throughout their lives. It is within a small community, in local space, that raising awareness of more global issues begins.


As if the skeptical interlocutors were to be persuaded constantly, mass sports is indeed a privileged place for the transmission of values that allow us to tackle the great challenges of the world and is a privileged means of building day by day the conditions required to have a real impact on sustainable development. In this blog, I will return to the ethical issues that I summarized at the Lausanne seminar thus: "Never the universal of the SDGs voted by heads of state at the UN without the universal designed as the result of local communities, of local actions and shared situations ".


This local inscription of the SDGs was a recurring theme in the debates of the seminar in Lausanne: local environment, natural spaces, daily activities, mass sports, field actions, pedagogical relations, transmission of values, etc. But to pursue the investigation of this question of a hypothetical transformation of the world through sport, I will retain another recurring theme in the work carried out in the Olympic capital. A red thread linked all the organizations present there. This is, how to be surprised, the question of financing or investing in sports as a means of sustainable development.


Almost all the representatives of the sports institutions mentioned this. This was the case in the first panel devoted to the sustainable development policy of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The international sailing federation demonstrated the necessity of engaging plasturgy, manufacturers and distributors, in defense of the environment and against plastic pollution, called the seventh continent, as the polluted areas are as vast as a continent. FIFA questioned the relevance and reorientation of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs. Since 2005, the specialized department of this federation has taken this issue very seriously and has since worked towards a positive impact on society and the environment. UN agencies asked about financial resources, their origin, and the relevance of their investment in good or bad sectors. The Commonwealth Sports Department pointed out the lack of public-private partnerships (PPPs) in the sports sector and questioned the private sector's risk of investing in sustainable development through sport using these means.


On the way back from Lausanne, crossing the vineyards of the canton of Vaud, which produce the Top Ranked Growths of Chasselas and Chardonnay wines, I thought: "Vineyard words, PPP is old wine in new bottles! To implement its policy, the organization I represented in Lausanne, World Sports Alliance, used PPPs to (try to) finance youth sport. As early as 2007, we relied on one of Kofi Annan's initial recommendations at the beginning of the MDGs era.


"Good governance" must be the key factor in the success of the MDGs, the Secretary-General of the United Nations said. In order to compensate for the budgetary constraints of the States, public-private partnerships (PPPs) were considered vital for this cause. By associating central and local governments, civil society and business, they could form meaningful and productive partnerships. We have explained[3] and presented[4] our model, but it must be admitted, on this road, our attempts were more numerous than our successes. We shall have the chance to return to the reasons for this mixed result.


That is why, for the SDGs era, we have decided to diversify the sources of funding for youth sport. I will focus on that in these columns because it is a major issue. At this precise moment in the SDGs era, at this particular moment of youth sport, we must invent ways and means of financing which are more in line with the innovation economy and with the challenges of the world. In Lausanne, in my communication[5] and in the text[6] on which it is based, I have, in turn, touched on the question of the financing of sport.


Leaving aside the underlying analysis, let's come to the main conclusions. In the global North, against a backdrop of successive economic crises, public funding regresses drastically. The global South has no financial autonomy and must invent new ways of financing its sustainable development. The international financial institutions emphasize that this development can only come from coordination between the public and private sectors, even requiring a strong contribution from the latter. This was one of the outcomes of the Addis Ababa conference in July 2015, which sought a comprehensive agreement on financing for development. After this detour via Lausanne, we will return to Addis Ababa.


To finance youth sport, like the competitor of the orienteering race, it will be necessary to consider all the azimuths before choosing the right directions. Let’s consider some of these azimuths. If states continue to withdraw, PPPs will remain a relevant intermediary, especially in Africa, building on the subsoil richness. If the reference to the private sector becomes major, companies will be able to constitute an important reservoir of financing. Thus, by adopting Ecological, Social and good Governance (ESG) policies, which associate the Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) dimension, companies would benefit from a commitment to a kind of citizen sports sponsorship allowing them to benefit from fiscal advantages.


There is another way. Insofar as the internet has become an indispensable net for all, the financing of sports projects by crowd-funding can also be an interesting solution. Getting a project online can bring substantial funds together. And since we will have to innovate, here is another azimuth. To the extent that the digitization of the world is inevitably intensifying, the new financial technologies (FinTech) offer interesting short-term prospects to facilitate the raising and distribution of funds - blockchain, clearing platforms, digital currencies, etc. Whether it is for macro financing to build sports facilities or for micro-credits to finance a young person's business, FinTech will be a valuable tool.


In Lausanne, I concluded an argument on the prospects for financing youth sports in the SDGs era in these terms: "Decline in public funding, importance of the local level, innovation by the fiscal interest of citizen sponsoring, or crowd-funding, whatever may be in the future for sport, as for any economic activity, it will be necessary to spend more economically, rationally and efficiently. This will involve the creation of new financial institutions specific to the financing of sport - such as a World Youth Development Center, an investment fund, and a micro-credit fund - and a better evaluation of all stakeholders in the design and implementation of SDP programs ".

New flower

In 2000, sports was a tool for reconciliation against the apartheid background in South Africa. In 2015, sports are a tool for promoting and achieving SDGs against the backdrop of economic crisis in a globalized world. It was necessary to make this detour via Lausanne. But we have to pursue our journey because, in order to understand the conditions for funding youth sport, we cannot ignore the global funding for the transformation of the world. It began in Addis Ababa - a new flower in the Amharic language - in July 2015, shortly before the vote of the seventeen (17) SDGs. And the least we can say is that the record was not very good.

Next: Monday 6 November 2017 – Transform the world: Lausanne - Addis Abeba.

[1]On April 15, 1996, the first hearing of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was held. Archbishop Desmond Tutu in charge of this delicate file, opened the work: detentions, executions, tortures, rapes, disappearances. Nearly 20,000 victims will testify.

[2]Recall that the Ubuntu proclaims that we are what we are thanks to what others are.
[3]Klein, G. (2014), Las Políticas Deportivas Nacionales y la Cuestión del Desarrollo en un mundo Globalizado: 2007-2013, la Experiencia de una organización intergubernamental (OIG-AMD), Journal of Sport Science, Ano 2014, Vol. 10,

[4]Klein, G. (2013), Sport as driver
of the national development in the WSA Member States, Doha GOALS, Gathering of All Leaders in Sport, Doha, 9-11 December 2013.


Monday, October 23, 2017

Transform the world: how much does it cost? - Dr. Gilles Klein

Transform the world: how much does it cost?
Dr. Gilles Klein, 16 October 2017

Mobilize all stakeholders around the achievement of SDGs, governments, companies, and foundations. But also, mobilize those most interested in the cause, that is to say, the masses. The tasks of informing and education will not be the easiest. The SDGs implementation team at the United Nations, headed by Dr. David Nabarro, has set a target of December 2017 for at least two billion of the world's population to be informed and aware of the SDGs. Governments, companies, foundations, masses, it is a real challenge! The SDGs’ achievement is a universal challenge, so it is a matter for everyone: "To achieve these goals, each of us must take it on, governments, the private sector, civil society and every human being everywhere in the world”[1].


The gamble may seem senseless as the actors to be mobilized are numerous. The bet may seem unreasonable as the financial amounts to be committed are enormous. Yet it is the tour de force which all tenants with precarious leases of the planet are invited if they want it to survive and this is a prescription for a cure. What planet do we want to leave to our children? For me, this question has long appeared a generality, a catchphrase, underlining the banality of a truism. It was just a lack of lucidity. The more I see my grandchildren grow up, the more it becomes obvious. It is time for everyone to proceed urgently to save what can still be saved.


To do this, we must assess the extent of the damage. Above all, we need to invent ways and means of financing that are more in line with the innovation economy and the challenges of the planet. But again, are questions to be asked in a blog dedicated to youth sport? Do we really have to worry about saving the planet to promote access to physical education, physical activity, and sport for young people in the world, mainly in the countries of the global South? For some, the detour is not worth the candle. After all, this is just sports. Enough talk! Just run, jump and throw. In my opinion, the challenge is worth the detour, precisely because SDGs are everyone's business.


To recall the extent of the damage, let's take an example. To be able to do sport in the global South, it is necessary first to hydrate. Those who have not stayed in Niamey, N'Djamena or Nouakchott cannot understand what sport means in the Sahel countries. The Sahel? It is this stretch of Africa that makes the transition between the Saharan domain and its arid climate to the north and the savannas of the Sudanian area where rains can be abundant. In these regions, in the near future, the goal will be to hydrate, simply to stay alive.


For the children of West Africa, in Dakar, Ouagadougou or Bamako, soon for those of Southern Europe, the game is far from won. The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, revealed that by 2100, three-quarters of humanity are at risk of heat waves. According to this work, the determining factor in causing fatal heat waves is the combination of high temperature and humidity. Tropical zones are thus designated as the most affected, and West Africa is particularly vulnerable.


The study sets out two scenarios. "In the first and worst case scenario, if global warming is not drastically reduced, 74% of the world's population will be threatened by these deadly heat waves; in the best scenario, by reducing global warming to 1°, the risks reach "only" 48% of the world population. But in one case as in the other, West Africa will not be spared”[2].


Of all this, we are all warned, if only by the press. The signing of the Paris agreement followed the Paris Conference on Climate (COP 21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. To forget this global effort, it would be necessary either not to follow the channels of continuous information, or to accompany the approach of the Republican American president who, against a backdrop of the defense of the coal-fired power plants, opposes the commitments of his predecessor to stem global warming.


Let us forget the damage for a moment to think about business. Could the American President, who likes to exalt the sovereignty of the United States, be tempted by the tremendous volume of business that constitutes the achievement of the SDGs by the 2030 deadline? His first speech to the United Nations, held on 19 September, leaves no indication of any interest in this type of global challenge. However, the volume of business generated by the SDGs could be tempting. As shown in the following diagram[3], the estimated investment amount for the UN 2030 program is US $ 90-120 trillion.



On 5 October, at the Lausanne seminar “Achieving SDGs through sport”, organized by the Swiss authorities, I mentioned a possible coordination of investments so that the international sports community collectively assumes Article 37 on the contribution of sport to SDGs[4]. I recalled the approach we had taken during the MDG era. By developing public-private partnerships in areas such as water infrastructure, agriculture, telecommunications, power, transports, buildings, industrial and forestry sectors, representing a volume of $ 66 billion, it is possible to finance universal health coverage - 37 billion US dollars - universal primary education and increased access to lower secondary education - 37 billion US dollars. I also showed that this coordination between SDGs and their funding could open new avenues to the financing of youth sport. We will return to this in the following episodes, drawing inspiration from some of the SDG's perspectives. That supplied by ECOHZ and the illustration of J. Lokrantz for Nitrogen put us on the way[5].


Helen Clark allows us to measure the magnitude of the task. From April 2009 to April 2017, Helen Clark served as Administrator of the United Nations Development Program. She was the first woman to assume the leadership of the organization. She also served as the Chair of the United Nations Development Group. It is a committee that brings together the directors of all the funds, programs and departments specifically responsible for development issues. In 2015, when the 2030 program was voted, the UNDP official said that more than US $ 3 300 billion a year would be needed to implement the MDGs. We would have to beat the world record of investment. Indeed, the sum invested in 2014 for sustainable development was only 135 billion. But where can we find the remaining 75%?


They are to be found in the contribution of all stakeholders, be they States, companies or foundations. On the planet, we all row in the same boat, one beside the other. That said, there are disputes. We are now all forced to adopt the same vision of the future, included in the same global and multidimensional ecosystem, with its ecological, geopolitical, economic and social valences. Indeed, it is the great innovation initiated by the SDGs. In 2015, a journalist summed up the transition made possible by the 2030 program: "It marks the transition from goals for others (MDG targets to developing countries) to goals for all (SDGs)”[6].


The MDGs launched in 2000 had the merit of providing a global framework for the international community to work on these development issues. As we have said, they had left fallow the issue of inequality, which concerns both North-South inequalities, but also inequalities within countries. Some regions of the world had been left out of development: this was the case in Africa, but also in South-East Asia. Unlike the MDGs, SDGs are universal, which will force all countries around the world to participate and ask how to achieve these goals. Indeed! How? Let us take an example of universal scope, in the sense that it concerns the totality of the women and men of this planet.


One of the seventeen (17) SDGs interests each creature at the highest level. Even the American President, his five (5) children and eight (8) grandchildren, even his typical voter, this religious white American, over 45 years old, living in a small or medium-sized city, of $ 50,000 a year, are very much concerned. This is the fifteenth ODD: Sustainable forest management, combating desertification, halting and reversing the process of land degradation and halting the loss of biodiversity.


A few sentences will suffice to recall the stakes of the achievement of this SDG. Terrestrial vegetation plays a crucial role in climate change. Deforestation contributes to the increase in temperature. The role of forests is crucial to limiting greenhouse gas emissions. Forests absorb and store CO2, each year the forests absorb nine (9) million tons, ie 20% of CO2 emissions. One billion six hundred million people live in and from the forest. The disappearance of forests is programmed if nothing is done. The United Nations and the nations are mobilized. In 2014, the summit on deforestation. In 2015, the Paris agreements. Governments, businesses and indigenous communities decide on common objectives.


Reduce deforestation by 50% by 2020 and halt it by 2030 and aim for resilience to CO2. Since 2011, the World Bank has spent 10 billion US dollars combatting deforestation. Comprehensive resilience to CO2 involves spending several hundred billion dollars. At least 1000 billion US dollars a year by 2050. The public sector is not able to finance this. Private sector engagement is essential. This entails the need to create the necessary tools to raise funds. Somehow green US banknotes to save the green of the planet. If the reduction in CO2 is essential for the planet to continue to breathe, oxygen is essential for everyone's breathing. The transition is easy, you will think! This brings us back to the oxygen necessary for the sport of youth. And if we were inspired by processes designed to be resilient to CO2 to generate money that could develop youth sport so that it could breathe better. Forests, physical education, youth sport? Who will pay?

Next: Monday, October 30, 2017 - Transforming the world: detour by Lausanne

[1]UNESCO (2017), L’éducation en vue des objectifs de développement durable : objectifs d’apprentissage, ISBN 978-92-3-200116-0, page 10.

[2]Jeune Afrique (2017), En 2100, 74% de la population mondiale risquent de mourir de chaud, 23 juin 2017 à 13h05 — updated 23 June 2017 at 15h15, by Élodie Descamps.
[3]United Nations, Council on Foreign Relations, Credits Laurie Garett, Julia Ro, cited by Eisenstat, A. et Traub, D. The Future of Impact Investing: Funding Social Innovation
for Sustainable Development,in CSR Index 2017, Edited by:
Matthias Vollbracht & Roland Schatz page 61.
[4]Coordination that would involve collegial governance of the Sport for Development and Peace sector on which we will come back.
[5]ECOHZ,, particularly

[6]Libération (2015), L'ONU adopte un programme pour changer de monde, by Clarisse Chick ( — 25 September 2015 at 19:07


Monday, October 16, 2017

Transform the world: diplomatic feat! - Dr. Gilles Klein

Transform the world: diplomatic feat!
Dr. Gilles Klein, 16 October 2017

Transforming the world! What's more, by combining sport. The events of the summer show us that the road will be long and arduous. Summer, often supposed to be synonymous with tranquility, and even a kind of lethargic period was only a fresh illustration of the violent world in which we live. From some recent reading, I recall a particularly despairing, though objective, description of this world: "the overexploitation of natural resources, the predation of the economy by finance, the dizzying rise of inequalities of all kinds, mass migration of populations fleeing war or misery, the return of religious fury and hiding of identity, the decline of democracy and the coming to power of strong men with weak ideas "[1].


How do you want to transform such a world! Yet the global political agenda in the 2030s, launched by the United Nations, raises the hope of real process of transformation that engages both the rulers and the citizens of the planet. By its Article 37, referred to above, the program involves and commits all stakeholders in sports. From the major sports organization, promoter of major events, to the smallest local NGO, a group of children's animators, aid policies to the development of the Northern countries to the ecological, social and governance (ESG) policies and of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) led by transnational companies, all will have to innovate and find solutions. Among the sportspeople, at least those who question the major challenges of the world, some will say: is it really useful to place sport relative to climate change, inequalities between and within countries, employment youth or good governance? Others will question how sport can contribute to universal goals, sustainable development, and peace.


Last August, in London, Usain Bolt’s final lap confirmed it. Sport would be in a position to compete for this universality because of its growing global popularity. This is undeniable. The Olympic Games, the FIFA World Cup or the Tour de France are followed by millions, even billions of viewers. This global popularity may suggest that sport is inexorably becoming a kind of universal language, spoken by all and adaptable to any cultural context. But the number does not necessarily construct meaning. By the affluence it generates, can sport really claim the universal? There are two reasons for relativizing something apparently obvious.


Media popularity is not enough to propel sports into a universal dimension. Of course, sports is a good fit with the times when everyone, whether in public or private life, tries to mobilize resources at the right time to achieve the best possible performance. Yet the universality of sport is far from being an obvious fact. From the point of view of Africa, India or Asia, the performing vision of the world remains a long way from certain cultural traditions and local habits.


The universality of sport is also questionable when the organization and culture of world sport continue to promote unethical practices that are necessarily against universality. From the start of this blog, we highlighted the problems of governance in the sports world, including the football global administration or the attribution of major sporting events by small cenacles, rarely representative of the base athletes and involved in conflicts of interests. Some organizations are directly or indirectly involved in corruption processes and scandals, or in the exploitation of young athletes. If these deviations of governance fail to tarnish the positive balance of major organizations, they are a long from the ethics indispensable to a universal position.


For these organizations, it would be tempting to use the universal objectives in a somewhat negative way, that is to compensate for the excesses and to make people forget the scandals. It would be a plaster applied to a wooden leg. Because, in the near future, whatever the stakeholders, all will be forced to define positive and preventive policies in favor of universal objectives, by providing answers to Article 37 of the 2030 program.

New York

An in-depth analysis of the contribution of sport to universal objectives inevitably begins by grasping and understanding the context in which this Article 37 takes place. To this end, I would like to relate two events that took place in New York two years apart. On 25 September 2015, the United Nations program 2030 was voted by the General Assembly, and then disseminated throughout the world. On July 24, 2017, an agreement was signed between the World Sports Alliance and the United Nations Global Sustainable Index Institute, which only a few people were interested in. However, the reconciliation of these events suggests some possible reorientations of the SDP sector.


Let's start with the basics! On September 25, 2015, the world voted therefore in favor of a new and ambitious roadmap for development. It was new! Following the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that accompanied the period 2000 - 2015, seventeen (17) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) organize the future of the approximately 8.5 billion people who will populate the planet at the due date 2030. It's also very ambitious! It is for the United Nations "to transform lives while preserving the planet”[2].


During the fifteen years of the MDGs era, significant progress has been made. Regarding primary education, the number of school-age children not attending school has been halved. Enrollment in primary education is now universal or almost universal in East Asia and North Africa. Only Sub-Saharan Africa remains far behind. Concerning the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women, girls' education has progressed considerably. But gender inequality persists in access to work, economic goods and participation in public and private decision-making. Extreme poverty is reduced by more than half. Successes have been recorded in the fight against hunger and undernourishment. But again, in Africa, progress remains weak, especially in sub-Saharan Africa where nearly one in four people still suffer from hunger[3].


However, all objectives are far from being met. In his introduction to the 2015 report on the MDGs, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wrote: "Inequalities persist and progress has been uneven. (...) In 2011, around 60% of the 1 billion extremely poor people in the world lived in only five countries”. In developing countries, important progress must be made on maternal health or access to contraception. In these countries, the maternal mortality rate is fourteen times higher than in the developed regions. 880 million people live in slums. And nearly a billion defecate in the open air. The issue of sustainable development really arises in the global South.


Following an unprecedented diplomatic feat, the seventeen (17) SDGs were elaborated on and voted for by the one hundred and ninety-three (193) countries of the world in September 2015. Since the Declaration of United Nations in 1942, the campaign launched in 2015 is the most successful in bringing the world to optimize health, the quality of life shared and the sustainability of development. Global governance is for many in this diplomatic success! When the MDGs were set by the United Nations and then endorsed by the Member States, the MDGs were the result of a collective effort. Starting with the Rio + 20 Summit in June 2012, nations negotiated for three years involving many stakeholders, including international civil society and the people through a wide-ranging survey.

Therefore, September 25, 2017, is the final stage in the adoption of the seventeen (17) SDGs and their 169 targets by 193 countries. The SDGs include some of the MDGs, the fight against poverty, hunger, health and hygiene, education, gender equality. But there are three major developments. First of all, the issue of sustainable development has made a noteworthy entry with the reduction of inequalities, decent work, and economic growth. Secondly, economic means to promote sustainable development have also been introduced: water, agriculture, telecommunications, energy, transport, buildings, industry, and forests. Finally, the issue of the environment has become very present. When a single MDG referred to it, the health of the planet is now relayed by several objectives: climate, life under the sea, life on earth, clean energies, cities and sustainable communities.


The 2030 program is ambitious! But above all, it will cost a lot. The seventeenth objective "Partnership to achieve these objectives" should be the tool to finance these SDGs. The needs are estimated in thousands of billions of dollars. How to do it when international public funding was only $ 239 billion (213 billion euros) in 2014? How to do it when state official development assistance is declining or stagnating? At the UN Conference on Financing for Development, held in Addis Ababa in July 2015, the importance of using the private sector was highlighted. This means that in sport, as elsewhere, all stakeholders will have to innovate by inventing new financing means more in line with the global economy. This will require mobilizing all stakeholders around the achievement of SDGs, governments, businesses, and foundations. This is the project of our partner United Nations Global Index Institute (UNGSII).


This brings us back to the second event, July 24, 2017, and the signing of an agreement between our organization and the UNGSII. How does this micro-event relate to the 2030 program and the place of sport in it? Let the initiators present three elements of their project. First, it's timing: "Having shared all the main principles of the Global Sustainability Index at the Davos laboratory in January 2016, the Foundation of the Global Sustainability Index Institute was registered in Liechtenstein on 18 February 2016 ". Second, it's vision. “The UN Global Sustainability Index Institute was founded in Geneva in 2016 to educate, activate and justify (eg., irrefutably and objectively) the results of the countries, companies, foundations and other stakeholders who choose to deploy SDGs in their communities "[4].


Finally, its objectives: "UNGSII will work with its partners to launch a Global Sustainability Index that demonstrates impact and progress in all sectors through leading-edge scientific data to provide a transparent matrix and rating system for companies, governments, and foundations to measure their success with SDGs. This index will assess whether companies disclose their SDGs impact in their legally binding annual reports "[5].


One can imagine the importance of such an index for the SDP sector. Governments, businesses, and foundations could make their contribution to SDGs while supporting and funding sports projects in developing countries and elsewhere. The perspective is interesting, precisely because it is universal. The United Nations initiated the Global Sustainability Index Institute. But SDGs are universal in scope and therefore not only for nations but especially for peoples. That is why partnerships with United Indigenous Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union will help move the initiative towards the establishment of an SDG Index Institute. The SDP sector would benefit by closely aligning itself with this universal initiative and this system of evaluation and financing of the SDGs. Is there perhaps one solution to the financing of youth sport?

Next:  Monday 23rd October 2017 – Transform the world: how much does it cost?

[1]Supiot, A. (2017) Et si l’on refondait le droit au travail, in Le Monde diplomatique, October 2017, pp. 22-23.
[2]UN General Assembly (UNGA) (2015), Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, available at:
[3]Let us stay today on the record of the MDGs. Physical education, physical activity, and sport during the MDG period will be the subject of an upcoming article.
[4]Ari Eisenstat and David Traub (2017), The Future of Impact Investing: Funding Social Innovation
for Sustainable Development, in CSR Index 2017, Edited by:
Matthias Vollbracht & Roland Schatz, p. 59.
[5] Ibid, p. 60.


Monday, October 9, 2017

Transform the world: not given! - Dr. Gilles Klein

Transform the world: not given!
Dr. Gilles Klein, 09 October 2017

At the end of last June, I wished readers of this blog a great summer. We left off on a giant matter. We summarized our attempt to reduce the inequalities in youth access to physical activity and sport by taking up the metaphor used by the philosopher and physicist Newton: "If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants ". This summer, by installing ourselves on the shoulders of the giants of this world, we will have experienced dramas and long-term challenges, of which the sporting spectacles have struggled to divert us.
The dramas and challenges that have constantly brought us back to the imperative necessity affirmed by the United Nations to transform the world in the years to come. Transforming the world! Let's try to understand with the first episodes dedicated to this theme that relaunch our blog. This second series will focus on the Sport, Development, and Peace (SDP) sector, which is the set of organizations that are trying to contribute to the achievement of the United Nations goals through sport. We will express our vision, our action plan and of course our results, hoping that this time they will be at the meeting of our assiduous attempts.


Cocorico! The French cock crows every morning in the courtyard of the farm. However, even the awarding of the Olympic Games did not provoke any particular excitement. Our readers remember the Blair-Chirac strategic duel for the 2012 Olympic Games. This time, the news was not surprising. On 13 September, Paris officially obtained the organization of the 2024 Olympic Games. After the creation of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Paris on June 23, 1894, the French capital organized the Games in 1900 and again in 1924, for the last time. The victory came after the agreement between the IOC and the last rival city, Los Angeles, which has been awarded the Olympics four years later.

Let's praise the performance! The game was well played by all the actors. By associating the entire sporting world, relying on champions and practitioners, France launched the game and since May 2017 by focusing on the very Jupiterian President Emmanuel Macron, "young, dynamic and open to the world" according to the words of Tony Estanguet, co-chair of the Paris-2024 committee. It plans to stage its world famous sites, such as the Eiffel Tower (triathlon and marathon), the Champs Elysees (cycling), the Palace of Versailles (horseback riding) or the Grand Palais (fencing). To complete the project, the project is estimated at 6.6 billion euros, a figure lower than the most recent Games thanks to existing infrastructures. More generally, France displays its ability to organize a major sporting event by anticipating environmental, social and good governance issues.

Return to London. At the World Athletics Championships, for the last 100m of his career, August 5th in the Olympic Stadium, Usain Bolt is beaten by two Americans, including Justin Gatlin, who becomes the new boss of the sprint under the whistles of the British public. In Beijing, athletics had found its king. In London, everyone praised his brilliant career. In a decade he has successfully taught billions of people, that which every physical education teacher and coach tries to teach his students every day: to pass in a few seconds from the most complete physical and psychological relaxation to the most intense effort, the one that makes it possible to mobilize all your resources to prevail on the line. Come on! For the French Cocorico, I took great pleasure in the victories of Pierre-Ambroise Bosse, a 800-meter “no-filter” worker, of Kévin Mayer, the modest pushing back the limits at the decathlon, and the obstinate and indefatigable Yohann Diniz in the 50 kilometers.
During the summer, I had to rework the question of financing sports: the decline in public finances, the importance of local authorities, the use of private sector through public-private partnerships, Corporate Social Responsibility, and the environmental, social and good governance (ESG) orientations of enterprises, as well as the participatory funding through crowd-funding, the appeal of federations to practitioners, etc. In short, watching on one side of the scales, the inequalities of youth access to physical education and sport, both within and between countries, due to the disengagement of public authorities. On the other side of the scales, studying the sports industry and its overall annual budget of 700 billion US dollars.
My reflections were confirmed by the arrival of a prince in the French Football League. Throughout July, negotiations were intense, before the decision was announced on 2 August. Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior officially left FC Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain. The Qatari leaders of the Paris club signed a cheque for 222 million euros corresponding to the amount of the release clause of the Brazilian, who will receive a 30 million annual salary for five years. If this figure appeared unreasonable to all those who struggle to balance family budgets, the amount of the transfer was not surprising for those who follow Qatari sports policy.

This policy initiated in the early 2000s by Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani is based on a few principles that combine sport, finance, and diplomacy: investment in the sports industry, organization of major events, promotion of athletes, diplomacy through sport, brand image. Qatar, confronted with the decline in its gas resources, transforms sports into a commodity, into merchandise, in other words, sports are nothing but an ore. Neymar is a golden nugget that allows the exploration and exploitation of the vein more deeply. The sums invested remain low in relation to the potential benefits.


The sport of summer has struggled to distract us and has constantly brought us back to the questions of the moment: geopolitics, money, the weight of the media and inequalities, as we shall see below. Questions close, so close to the news of this world. Nothing truly can divert anyone from the rest of the news, so heavy and painful this summer. Let's remember. After Paris, Brussels, Nice, Berlin, London, Manchester, Stockholm ... On Thursday, August 17, a young Moroccan, takes to the Rambla, Barcelona's most popular avenue. Over 500 meters, he mows down dozens of people of 35 nationalities, whilst driving a rental van. The result is heavy: 16 dead, 120 wounded. We found out later. Gaudi's Sagrada Familia was the initial target of the terrorists. Following September 11, 2001, the replicas of American geopolitics remain formidable. Until when? We have thought a lot about our friends in Barcelona and Catalonia, an autonomous community member of our organization.


Egg products are withdrawn from French shops from 7 August. Their concentration of fipronil was above the European regulatory limit. The use of this product is strictly prohibited in animals intended for human consumption. At the origin of the scandal: the Netherlands, where one hundred and eighty (180) farms are suspected of having used fipronil, sometimes in high doses. What can be done to ensure that public health takes precedence over financial interests?


President Trump stayed in the headlines all summer, mainly because of his arm-of-iron with the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un. On August 8, following the Pyongyang attempt, the US president promises "fire and anger as the world has never seen it." North Korea threatens to destroy the island of Guam before tempering the remarks and "observing the idiotic and stupid behavior of the Yankees". The replicas of the Iraqi occupation seem not to be enough. The American president, conquered in Paris by the military parade, cannot content himself with being a spectator, he makes everyone run the risk of passing from the pageantry parade to the theatre of operations.


President Trump, again. August 13 in Charlottesville, Virginia. A youth from the far-right movement Unite the White rushes into the anti-racist crowd and kills Heather Heyer. Violent clashes broke out between anti-racist militants and American extreme right-wing groups. The Klu Klux Klan is back. The state governor declared a state of emergency and the police banned the gathering. After attempting to appease, President Trump is only fanning the fires. He raises a shield by claiming that responsibility for the violence that shook Charlottesville had to be sought "on both sides." In an attempt to compensate, he sent back some advisers like the sultry nationalist Steve Bannon. The damage is done. On the sports fields, the players put their knees on the ground in a mark of solidarity during the American anthem. With the white tunics and pointed hoods of the white supremacist movement, we come back to the question of race inequalities and their corollaries, inequalities of gender, social status, capacity, sexuality, from the depths of the 1950s and 1960s.


July 19, publication of a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States. A figure of 8.3 billion, which corresponds to the number of tons of plastic made by man since 1950. Almost 3/4 of this plastic has become waste. Shortly before, another published study issued a warning. The sixth mass extinction in Earth history, vertebrate history, has accelerated at an unprecedented rate since 66 million years ago and the extinction of dinosaurs. If Neymar was not bought on credit by Paris Saint Germain, on the other hand, the Earth still lives on credit earlier than last year: on 2 August we consumed all the natural resources that the planet can produce in a year.


Last week, in Lausanne, the Sport, development and peace sector made its comeback. On the agenda, stakeholder policies and action plan to show the contribution of sport to the 2030 Sustainable Development Program adopted by the United Nations General Assembly under the title "Transforming Our World". Summer has shown us, it is not given. What are the challenges of such a transformation? How could sport contribute? Under what conditions could sport play a role in these major challenges of the world, particularly the issue of inequality? I will come back to it during our weekly meetings.
Next: Monday 16 October 2017 – Transform the world: a diplomatic feat!