IOC and UN-HABITAT sign Memorandum of Understanding

Today, Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and Anna Tibaijuka, UN-HABITAT Executive Director, met in Lausanne to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between their two organisations.

Fields of common action
In future, the IOC and UN-HABITAT will form synergies in using sport to mobilise and prepare young people for active participation in urban life and to promote poverty alleviation. Advocacy and field-level activities will be driven in close cooperation between the UN-HABITAT’s offices and the 205 National Olympic Committees. For a start, common projects will be implemented in the following three fields:

  • youth empowerment through sport
  • community-based sport activation in secondary towns, and
  • slum dwellers’ activation through sport.

Sport for UN Millennium Development Goals
Encouraging young people to participate in sports activities will help meet UN targets set by the Millennium Development Goals. The new partnership builds on the important ongoing work of other specialised UN agencies that have already teamed up with the IOC to place sport on their development agendas.

“The IOC is working closely with a number of UN agencies. Through this collaboration, the IOC and UN Habitat will focus on the urban poor: millions of people, particularly children in the slums, for whom sport can bring escapism and hope”, said IOC President Jacques Rogge after the meeting.

Reaching out to young people in slums
“We must not forget that over 50 per cent of slum populations are made up of young people and there is no better way to give direction and motivation than encouraging them to participate in sports” added Mrs Anna Tibaijuka.

To guarantee the successful implementation of this new cooperation agreement, a follow-up committee will be established. It will meet annually to further define, develop, and maintain a programme of common interest.