Saturday, January 20, 2018

At the first African School Sport Forum, Dr. Gilles Klein, Secretary General of the World sports Alliance Intergovernmental Organization(WSAIGO) invites Benin to collaborate on the development of a Sport for Development and Peace Index

In Rabat - Morocco, Dr. Gilles Klein, Secretary General of the WSAIGO proposes to Benin, a Member State of the WSAIGO Intergovernmental Organization, to collaborate, in partnership with the International School Sport Federation, on the development of a "Sport for Development and Peace" (SDP) index aimed at mobilizing States, businesses and organizations a an positive incentivizing tool to engage them in the financing SDP initiatives in financing SDP initiatives in Africa.

In his introductory speech at the conferenceof the first African School Sport Forum, Dr. Gilles Klein, referred to Michael Møller, the UN Director-General in Geneva. According to this senior UN official, "to change the World, we need to change the way the World does business, where sustainability is measured in a transparent way." This being said, however, we can note that, from the standpoint of sport, since 2003, sponsors have not sufficiently supported the SDP initiatives. Therefore in his speech to the Forum, the Secretary General of the WSAIGO Intergovernmental organization proposed the creation of a think-tank for the generation of a proposal for action.

The financial potential of sport is important. The sports industry generates $800 billion annually, or 1% of global GDP. The sporting events market is worth $80 billion a year, with strong growth. In a world in crisis, sport can become a formidable economic engine. So why is there so little money back on the ground?

In 1999, Kofi Annan was able to convince UN Member States to implement changes in favor of resilience to the planet. Governments have tried to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Sport was associated to this initiative.

But the world of industry, especially digital, has continued to function, as if everyone's responsibility was not engaged. Some industrial champions have even managed to make people believe that the Internet opened a second virtual planet whose resources would be unlimited.

The crisis of the financial sector following the collapse of Lehman Brothers raised doubts about the model of growth at all costs. The World began to rethink the business principles on which it persisted. Companies then further developed Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Environmental Social Governance (ESG) policies that can contribute to sustainable development.

Some States, companies or individuals resist. But most begin to realize that the resources on which our lives depend are in permanent and accelerated decline. The challenge of this resilience is to act today to prepare the lives of our children and our grandchildren.

In this context, the United Nations 2030 program is a universal campaign and is responsible for objectives that are acceptable to all, measurable through clear indicators. Do not hesitate to tie-in sports. How can this be done? UNGSII, sponsored by Michael Møller, has created a sustainability index for companies and governments based on the CSR and ESG policies they develop.

The Secretary General of the WSAIGO Intergovernmental organization, Dr. Gilles Klein, proposes to the thirty-eight delegations present in Rabat the creation of an SDP index to measure the effective engagement of all stakeholders in Africa. This index would be built with different types of organizations to measure the actual impact of each and, particularly, the level of investments. He proposed that a global conference be devoted to the evaluation of the SDP sector. It would present the annual results of companies, governments, NGOs and social movements. Africa cannot miss this Rendezvous with the future!

In this perspective, Dr. Klein addresses a proposal to the Minister of the Republic of Benin and the President of the University of Abomey Calavi to work collaboratively on the development of this SDP index and to discuss, with the African Union to set-up an African conference on the evaluation of sustainable development through sport.

At the end of the Forum, the Secretary General of the WSAIGO Intergovernmental organization met with the Beninese delegation. They exchanged on the development of the SDP index which is on track, since at the end of 2017, in Geneva, UNGSII accepted the principle of developing a SDP index favoring assessment of all stakeholders in sport. Within this process, Benin could become a leader for Africa.

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