Political will reaffirmed during MINEPS IVAthens (Greece) – The Fourth International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Sport and Physical Education (MINEPS IV) closed today after having reaffirmed the will to overcome the last remaining differences concerning the Draft international convention against doping in sport.
The meeting - presided by Greek’s Deputy Minister of Culture, with responsibilities for Sport, George Orfanos, of some 270 representatives from 89 countries, among them 40 ministers - adopted the Athens Declaration, which undertakes to “implement coherent policies and take specific measures for the development of physical education.”
“Urgency and determination to take action were the two overriding sentiments that marked the debates at MINEPS IV, whether on the quality of physical education and the practice of sport, or the reaffirmation of ladies’ participation, and the need to combat doping,” declared Françoise Rivière, Asisstant Director-General of UNESCO. “The International Year for Sport and Physical Education, 2005, will provide an opportunity to take action.”
Regarding the future international convention against doping, Ms Rivière said: “The state of progress of the drafting of the convention and the political will demonstrated by Member States help us nurture the hope that this new legal instrument may be ratified in time for the Winter Olympics of 2006 in Turin, Italy, although this is an extremely tight deadline.”
The consensus reached in Commission I concerning most of the questions that remained on the table should enable experts, who will meet in Paris in January, to finalize the preliminary draft convention before it is submitted for adoption to the 33rd session of the General Conference of UNESCO in October 2005.
Among the proposals made by Commission II, which debated the quality of physical education and sport in different educational systems, was the development of an international programme to promote physical education and sport, as well as the adoption of a draft charter of sport and traditional games, to be presented to the next session of the General Conference.
The place of games and traditional sports was also debated in Commission III, which considered the central role of physical education and sport in the development of girls and ladies 1. It recommended in particular the creation of an internet-based observatory of women, sport and physical education which the Greek Ministry of Sport may finance.
1. The fourth world conference on women and sport will take place in Kumamoto (Japan), from May 11 to 14 May 2006.
Photo ©: UNESCO/Niamh Burke