Also present at the signing ceremony were: Mr George Anastassopoulos, Ambassador and permanent delegate of Greece to UNESCO, President of the General Conference; and Mrs Yolande Bike, Ambassador and permanent delegate of Gabon to UNESCO, vice-Chair of CIGEPS, and former minister of sports.
The initiative to create this Observatory as a UNESCO category 2 centre was unanimously approved by the 34th Session of UNESCO’s General Conference in October. “The Observatory will be developed and maintained with the support of the Secretariat General of Sport within the Hellenic Ministry of Culture,” explained the Director-General. “Its functions include the gathering, analysis, organization and dissemination of information worldwide on issues relating to women, sport and physical education,” he added. The data and information will be collected from both governmental and non-governmental bodies, and from research and university institutions. A database will also be established and the Observatory will function, among others, as a “centre of information exchange”. It will therefore ensure the more systematic collection of data and support advocacy in these areas.
After signing the agreement, Mr Matsuura expressed his satisfaction at the establishment of the Observatory and thanked Ambassador Anastassopoulos for his commitment to pursuing gender equality and the empowerment of women.
The Director-General stated that the establishment of this centre was very timely, since it reflects the importance that UNESCO assigns to the reinforcement of the role of women in the domain of sport. “This accord will serve as an important contribution to reaching the gender-related targets in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” he declared.
Mr Matsuura went on to underscore that UNESCO will bring all its support to the implementation of the Observatory’s activities: “we will cooperate through joint actions to promote the educational, social and ethical value of sport and physical education, as well as their crucial role in reaching the Education for All (EFA) objectives and the MDGs.”
For his part, Minister Ioannidis expressed his gratitude for UNESCO’s strong collaboration and his wish that the Observatory may help women reach an equal level of participation in sports.
Author(s): Office of the Spokeswoman - Source: Flash Info N° 189-2007 - Publication Date: 07-12-2007