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The Ministry of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports (MICYS), in association with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), will be hosting the International Congress on Sport for Peace and Development, from September 13 to 16, in Kingston.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Faith Innerarity, told JIS News, that the Ministry is very excited to host the event.
“The MICYS is really excited about the prospects of this congress, bearing in mind that we will have persons from all over the world here. This is really something very good, for the country to showcase what it is that we have been doing well, and also to move forward in terms of our own national agenda, in expanding development efforts at the community level, especially in those communities that are more disadvantaged,” the Permanent Secretary said.
Mrs. Innerarity believes that it is only fitting that Jamaica hosts such an event, given its standing internationally in sports.
“UNESCO invited Jamaica to host this conference, because the country was considered ideal, not only because of our membership in the Intergovernmental Committee on Physical Education and Sport (CIGEPS), but also because of the involvement of Jamaica in sports at the international level and taking into account our performances at the Olympics,” she noted.
“They expect that, at this conference, the countries that are going to be represented will be very interested in Jamaica and our best practices in terms of the development of our athletes and the sports programmes that are currently in operation in Jamaica,” Mrs. Innerarity explained, while adding that “already we have had requests from some of the delegations that are going to be visiting Jamaica, to see various programmes and speak to different officials who are involved in sports.”
The congress is a follow-up to the Symposium of Experts, that was held at UNESCO in November 2007, following UNESCO’s 34th General Conference. The participants at that Symposium of Experts, considered it important to establish a strategy for Sports and Physical Education and as such, drafted a Policy paper.
It is expected that at the congress in Jamaica, this paper will be expanded and that there will be new ideas, which will serve as the fulcrum that will drive Sports for Peace and Development, at the global level.
Over the duration of the congress, participants will exchange expertise and information, with the aim of empowering each other with knowledge on leading best practices, case studies and capacity building. They will also examine the ability of UNESCO to help member states to achieve the goals and objectives that will be set.
“In respect of outcomes for this congress, it is expected that Government officials will share expertise and efforts in respect of Sports for Peace and Development and identify particular areas that need to be addressed. We will also be looking at UNESCO’s capacity and competence and how the organisation is placed to assist the various member countries,” Mrs. Innerarity pointed out.
“The main outcome would be to define goals for UNESCO, to be achieved in the mid and long term. These goals would also relate to the countries, which are members of UNESCO, because the policies and goals which are established at the organisational level, are going to be implemented in the member states. We expect that even for Jamaica, this particular congress will assist us in defining our own sports policy,” she added.