The 3rd Meeting of the Open-Ended Working Group on Model Indicators on Sport and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was held as a virtual forum on 2-3 December 2020. The meeting was delivered by the Commonwealth Secretariat, working with UNESCO and UNDESA as meeting hosts.
The Open Ended Working Group is part of a broader international project to develop, test and validate a measurement framework and model indicators to support member countries, sporting bodies and other stakeholders, to evaluate and improve the contribution of sport, physical education and physical activity to prioritised SDG targets.
The two-day forum, with the theme of ‘From Development to Implementation’, reviewed progress to date on the development and implementation of the Sport and SDG indicator framework. The aim of the meeting was to work towards developing an inclusive plan for scaling-up the indicators, to enhance measurement, future planning and investment around the framework.
Reiterating the importance of sport as a contributor to sustainable development, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth called upon the forum participants to work together in scaling implementation, and pledged to continue the Commonwealth’s “leadership and coordination role in this next stage of the project”.
This collaborative international project primarily delivers on Action 2 of the Kazan Action Plan as well as Action Area 4 of the UN Action Plan on Sport for Development and Peace 2018-2020, which focuses on improving sport-related data, and is also aligned to the World Health Organisation’s Global Action Plan on Physical Activity.
The Open-Ended Working Group is a key forum to advance collaboration, and allow diverse stakeholders to contribute to the development and implementation of the framework indicators.
Mr. Liu Zhenmin, the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations stated that the “member States, UN system and civil society organizations have underlined the importance of data collection in this area”, and noted that the indicators are vital in this regard.
Originally scheduled to be hosted at the UN Headquarters in New York by UNDESA, the meeting was delivered as a virtual forum on account of movement restrictions due to COVID-19.
Ms. Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences at UNESCO, noted the importance of the sport sector for the “healthy lifestyles, inclusive societies and resilience” that are required for a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Echoing the collective intent to leave no one behind, Ms. Ramos also highlighted that the forum was being held on the International Day of People with Disabilities.
Over 200 participants officially registered for the online meeting, and according to an ongoing participant survey, over 93% of the participants reported being ‘satisfied’ or ‘highly satisfied’ with the meeting theme, agenda, and the quality and diversity of speakers.
For further information about the meeting, the Open-Ended Working Group or the wider initiative, please contact the Sport for Development and Peace Team at the Commonwealth Secretariat [email protected], who are coordinating Action 2 of the Kazan Action Plan.