JIS News

Jamaica and UNESCO signed what was dubbed the Kingston Declaration arising out a two-day International Congress on Sport for Peace Development which concluded in Kingston today.
The document was signed by the Honourable Olivia “Babsy” Grange, Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, in her capacity as president of the Congress, and Mr. Wataru Iwamoto, representative of UNESCO, which sponsored the Congress in collaboration with MICYS.
Among the recommendations, is that national Governments give priority to the provision of financial resources for the establishment of sport facilities, including at the community level, to bridge social barriers and foster national development and peace.
Collaboration between the Ministries of Sport and Education was also recommended, as was collaboration between CARICOM states and UNESCO, in the field of competitive sport, physical education, recreation and active living.
The Kingston Declaration, called for the improvement of the quality of physical education, sport, recreation and active living programmes, as well as for the promotion of the positive values of sport.
It requested UNESCO, in particular its Intergovernmental Committee for Physical and Education and Sports, to ensure appropriate follow-up in line with the outcomes of the Congress, as work is done to finalise a UNESCO Policy Paper on Sport for Peace and Development.
It was said also that there should be social cohesion to contribute to public health and to build economies to eradicate poverty and generate incomes through the sport industry. It said regional and international cooperation on sport for peace and development should be developed.
Encouragement of all nations to ratify the International Anti-Doping Convention, was another of the clauses of the Kingston Declaration.
It was also recommended that UNESCO and its member states, work towards creating a focus on the link between sport and culture, emphasising the importance of traditional sport, games and national identity.
Another of the recommendations, is that UNESCO evaluates the outcome of sport-related conferences and monitors the implementation of recommendations that rise from such meetings.
Minister Grange urged the CARICOM members to become more involved in the work of UNESCO and its many subsidiary agencies, as she believed that greater participation and involvement would influence the adoption of the recommendations.
The meeting was attended by delegates from 22 countries in the Caribbean, South America, Africa, Asia and Europe.
In her closing remarks, Minister Grange said that the Congress made clear the positions of the participating countries, on the matter of Sport for Peace and Development.
She said the gathering went “a long way to also unite the thinking of the participants on the potential of what sport can accomplish, to strengthen the economic and social bases of our countries. What is required now is for us to build on the platform which has been created by the presentations, discussions and ideas emanating from the Congress.”
The Sports Minister said that the delegates could consider themselves trailblazers who could take a lot of credit for the progress that she was sure their countries would make as a direct consequence of the deliberations at the Congress.
To the Caribbean delegates in particular, Miss Grange said that the performance of our athletes at the Beijing Olympics must be seen as awake-up call, a reminder that “sports is a huge asset to us. Not only are we on the fast track, we cannot afford to drop the baton,” the Minister urged her colleagues.