Newsletter - Issue 7

Vienna, 14th May 2011

I. UN-IOC forum on sport for development and peace held at Geneva

II. Football for Development partner in Nigeria organises a media round table on the theme “Gender equality in Nigerian football” in Ikeja, Nigeria.


I. UN-IOC forum on sport and development held at Geneva

Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, addressed the International Forum on Sport, Peace and Development at the United Nations Headquarter in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday (11 May). The two day IOC-UN organised forum considered and reviewed the impact and potential of sport in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and developing a culture of peace.  

In his opening statement, the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Jaques Rogge, stressed the fact that sport must play a role in establishing sustainable development and that since the initial edition of the Forum in 2009 achievements have been made. The Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace, Wilfried Lemke, said: “The deadline for the MDGs is only four years away and we have a wealth of evidence from the field that sport is a vehicle for social change.” Lemke also pointed out that majority of the 192 UN member states are not yet convinced that sport has the power to make a difference.      

The second UN-IOC Forum gathered 350 delegates from almost 150 countries representing Governments, UN agencies, national Olympic committees, international sport federations, academics and NGOs. High profile speakers included the Hungarian president and IOC member Pál Schmitt and the UK minster for sport, Hugh Robertson.

Football for Development Intervention

During the open discussion following the session on sport as a catalyst for achieving MDGs, Football for Development coordinator at VIDC, Bella Bello Bitugu, raised the issue about the need to overcome patronising structures between North and South when it comes to the implementation of sport for development programmes and asked UN and IOC representatives how they will assure that those who are most affected are represented in a forum like this? Rather strangely nobody of the UN or IOC representatives was willing or able to answer the question and Bella Bello Bitugu was told by the moderator that he will receive an answer in writing. 

Sustainability of mega Sport events 

Looking back at the last FIFA World Cup 2010, South African Deputy sport minister Gert Oosthuizen said that an important goal has been achieved through the World Cup, namely  “rebranded South Africa from a country of Apartheid to a land of hope and new opportunities. By hosting this world class event we demonstrated that Africans are equals among the member of the world community.”

He argued that the Government invested 5 Billion US Dollars for setting up the infrastructure, but resisted cutting spending on social issues. Apart from creating 159.000 jobs and boosting tourism, the main achievements of the event was to maintain social cohesion which is crucial for the continual building of the the rainbow nation.  

Following the presentation of Carlos Nuzmann, president of Rio 2016 Olympic Games Organising Committee, an NGO delegate from Brazil questioned the sustainability of Rio 2016. The architecture student pointed out that forced evictions of 3000 favela (slum) dwellers would take place due to preparations in Rio de Janeiro and that this would violate human rights.


At the end of the two days conference, the meeting came out with recommendations on how sport can be used to achieve MDGs and generally addressing the issues of development through sport. The recommendation notes that for such a strategy to succeed, it requires action, net working and cooperation from institutions, agencies, sport authorities etc since the strategy is multi-dimensional and multi-agency. For more on the recommendation please go to this link

For an in-depth coverage of the event visit sportanddev

The Forum was co-organised by the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP); and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) aimed at offering the opportunity to review policies and practices harnessing the potential of sport as a humanitarian, social and reconciliation tool, to strengthen the cooperation between the different players in this field and to agree on future action.


See the programme outline.

Follow updates on the event here.

Download useful information on the event.


II. Football for development project Partner in Nigeria organizes a media round table on the theme “gender equality in Nigerian football” in Ikeja, Nigeria.

Search and Groom, partners of the football for development project, and in line with our objective of addressing gender issues, have organized a media round table on the participation and access of women in Nigerian football under the theme “Gender Equality in Nigerian Football” -15.03.11. The event was organized in partnership with Heinrich Boll Foundation, a German Political Foundation affiliated to the Green Party and took place at the Ikeja sports centre, Oluwaleimu Street in Ikeja, Nigeria. The programme brought together practitioners in both print and electronic media as well as female football analysts, coaches and ex-Nigerian international football players.

Panel discussions and working group on women football in Nigeria

Panel discussion and working groups at the meeting discussed topics which included overcoming gender inequalities in football, manifestation of inequalities in women football, sexual harassment of upcoming players and discrimination in media reporting on women football.

Yomi Kuku, the Executive Director, Search and Groom notes that “It is sad that Nigerian women football team, being giants of African women football do not receive the recognition deserved. The issue of women football reflects the position of women in other aspects of Nigerian society. That is why it is important to deal with this issue since football is not only sport but also a means to addressing other social themes and development. I hope this initiative by Search and Groom will attract the attention of other campaigns to take the issue up with policy makers and authorities to come out with a strategy to address it."


The gathering ended with participants coming out with their observations and resolutions communiqué on how all can play their part in addressing the problem of female football in Nigeria.

For more on the communiqué at the end of the gathering please go to;


Dr. Bella Bello Bitugu

European Coordinator - Football for Development project

VIDC - Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation

Möllwaldplatz 5/3

A-1040 Vienna, Austria  


Tel. 0043-1-713 35 94-79 or 0043-512-278104

Mobile 0043-650-68 31 842

Fax 0043-1-713 35 94-73



External link in new

External link in new  


Become a fan on Facebook!Share on Facebook!