Participants at the 5th world conference of sports ministers in Berlin (MINEPS V) today adopted an extensive list of recommendations to curb corruption in sport, share the socio-economic benefits of sport more equitably and ensure access to sport for all.
The Berlin Declaration emphasizes that sport is a fundamental right for all, regardless of ethnic origin, gender, age, impairment, cultural and social background, economic resources or sexual orientation. It also underscores the threat to the integrity of sport from transnational organized crime, doping, the manipulation of sports competitions and corruption, which, like sport itself, has become a global phenomenon.
“These are not just legal issues,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova in her opening address to the conference on Wednesday 29 May. “They are serious political issues that concern all of us, because no one country can effectively deal with them alone. Sport has become global; our response must also be global.”
The Declaration’s many specific recommendations on the issues of access, investment and integrity seek to improve and consolidate international cooperation between governments and all other sport stakeholders in these areas. The document includes calls for improved sports governance; greater transparency in bidding for and hosting of major sports events, and different approaches to the organization of such events; sharing of research data and good practices on physical education and sport; collaboration in the early detection of manipulation, preventive measures and monitoring in accordance with national and international law.
There is also a call to the sport movement to institute a zero-tolerance policy, especially against doping and the manipulation of sports competitions, as well as effective, proportionate disciplinary regulation, and a range of preventive measures.
Finally the Berlin Declaration calls on UNESCO’s Member States to redouble efforts to implement existing international agreements and instruments, such as UNESCO”s International Convention against Doping in Sport, and invites the Organization to propose practical follow-up and monitoring.
The MINEPS V conference was officially opened on Wednesday, 28 May, by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and Federal German Chancellor Angela Merkel. It is the culmination of several years of negotiations and brought together sports ministers and other government representatives from over 130 countries. They were joined by law enforcement agencies, experts, researchers and non-governmental organizations involved in sport.
The first MINEPS event took place at UNESCO’s Paris Headquarters in 1976, and focused on development of physical education and sporting, which subsequently became a priority education goal for UNESCO. The following sessions took place in Moscow in 1988, Punta del Este in 1999 and Athens in 2004.
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