The United Nations have long recognized the contribution of sport to human and social progress and its member states reaffirmed the role of sport in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by stressing that: “Sport is an important enabler of sustainable development. We recognize the growing contribution of sport to the realization of development and peace in its promotion of tolerance and respect and the contributions it makes to the empowerment of women and of young people, individuals and communities as well as to health, education and social inclusion objectives” (A/RES/70/1, paragraph 37). Beyond promoting values of fairness, teamwork and tolerance, sport initiatives can empower individuals and communities, promote personal well-being and encourage social inclusion.

During this high-level interactive discussion, co-organized with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), UNCTAD will convene the key stakeholders in promoting sports for sustainable development, including UN Member States, renowned athletes, private investors as well as agencies and programmes of the UN family. The discussion will focus on concrete policies and initiatives to further enhance the contribution of sport and sport-related investment to achieving the SDGs.

Issues to be addressed:

  • The levers through which sport empowers individuals and communities, particularly among the youth and women, and successful government policies to support them;
  • Best practice sport-based initiatives to mobilize resources for sustainable development;
  • Policies, initiatives and practices to enhance the development impact of sport events and sport tourism on host countries and cities.

Welcome remarks: Mr. Michael Møller, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)

Keynote Address: Mr. Juan Antonio Samaranch, Vice-President, International Olympic Committee (IOC)

Moderator: Mr Giovanni Di Cola, Special Adviser and Focal Point on Sport, Office of the Deputy Director General, International Labour Organisation (ILO)


  • HE Ms. Rethabile Marumo, Deputy Minister of Gender and Youth, Sports and Recreation, Kingdom of Lesotho
  • Mr. Nick Sore, Senior Refugee Sports Coordinator, UNHCR
  • Mr. Francesco Ricci-Bitti, President, Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF)
  • Ms. Samantha Murray (UK), World Champion and Olympic Medalist, Pentathlon
  • Ms. Stefany Hernandez (VEN), World Champion and Olympic Medalist, BMX
  • Mr. Hans Reitz, CEO, Grameen Creative Lab, Advisor to Peace Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus

Press Releases:

Investing in Sport for the SDGs: A Dedicated Panel at the WIF 2018

In partnership with:

Event Manager: Mr. Massimo Meloni
Contact email: