Tokyo, 18 November 2011. The United Nations (UN) and the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) today signed a partnership agreement at the Yoyogi Stadium in Tokyo. Both organizations announced their intention to promote shared values, to drive forward international development and to support the attainment of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) throughout the world.
“We consider carrying out social responsibility work together with the United Nations to be both an opportunity and a duty,” stressed FIVB President Jizhong Wei. He continued: “Volleyball is actively enjoyed by over half a billion people worldwide, which makes it potentially a strong medium for contributing to the work and mission of the UN in the years to come.”
The UN Millennium Development Goals, which include eradicating poverty and hunger, achieving a universal primary education, promoting gender equality and combating HIV/AIDS, form a thematic focus for the alliance.
UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, Wilfried Lemke: “The United Nations has long recognized the crucial role that sport federations can play in promoting sustainable development and peace-building,” Mr. Lemke declared. “The 2015 deadline for achieving the MDGs is coming closer every day and through this partnership with FIVB, we will be able to reach out to many more and to use volleyball as a vehicle for delivering our messages and programmes,” he added.
A large part of the partnership consists in raising awareness of the MDGs, UN issues or specific joint social campaigns at FIVB tournaments and in the framework of the “FIVB Heroes” campaign. It also includes joint development and humanitarian projects relevant to the respective host nation or circumstances of the event. Joint promotional measures at events will include perimeter boards, videos, media and player engagement, media packs and guides.
The first event where these measures will be implemented will be the FIVB World Cup in Japan (Women’s tournament: 4-18 November. Men’s tournament: 20 November-4 December). Both tournaments will feature twelve national teams, with the top three finishers qualifying automatically for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
FIVB’s brand new “FIVB Heroes” campaign will play a crucial role in the FIVB-UN partnership and in the global promotion of FIVB’s social engagement. The “FIVB Heroes” – a dozen or so of the world’s best Volleyball players – will be the faces of the FIVB-UN partnership. FIVB Executive Vice-President André Meyer: “Our first step for the new global partnership is to raise as much awareness as possible for the eight MDGs. The positive power of the “FIVB Heroes’” popularity will attract attention and will focus the eyes of the Volleyball community and young generation on the MDG and specific UN issues. The more we focus on social issues, the better – for the world and for the Volleyball community as well.”
End poverty 2015: www.endpoverty2015.org/
Millenium Goals: www.un.org/millenniumgoals/