With today being International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, Dr Morten Schmidt, Global Director of Programmes and Grants at Laureus Sport for Good, outlines the importance of focusing on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:
The Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, are the blueprint for a better future for all. They are our collective aspirations for where we want to be as a global community in 2030, and it sets out the roles and responsibilities for all of us. More than the world of sports, more than the pantheon of history’s greatest athletes, the SDGs are our bearings when we navigate the world of international development with all its local and global challenges, and a better future for especially vulnerable children and young people is our North when we set the direction at Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.
In October 2018, at the World Investment Forum, the under-secretary general of the United Nations, Michael Moeller emphasized again the UN’s belief in the power of sport: “With its universal reach and appeal, sport is an important enabler of sustainable development and a key tool to reach the Goals by 2030. Sport, physical activity and play can strengthen governance, empower women, and promote human rights and integrity”.
With this statement Mr Moeller echoed Nelson Mandela’s famous words from the inaugural Laureus World Sports Awards in the year 2000: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people”. This belief seems to have become the mantra for our entire sector, and it continues to inspire and mobilise people across the world.
At Laureus Sport for Good, we are witnessing the sport for development and peace movement in the making, and we have done so for almost twenty years. Since 2016, we have increasingly positioned ourselves thoroughly within the framework of the SDGs recognising that by employing the power of sport, we can make our own little contribution to help the global community towards a better future.