The Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace, Wilfried Lemke, met today with FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter at FIFA headquarters in Zurich. They agreed to deepen cooperation between FIFA and the UN to further advocate for the role of sports as a effective tool for development and peace, in the lead up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ and the 2015 deadline for the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Mr. Lemke commended FIFA's commitment to using football as a
tool to promote development and peace, in particular through the
"Football for Hope Movement". As the former general
manager of the first division German football club Werder Bremen
for 18 years, and now as Special Adviser, Mr. Lemke remains a
dedicated advocate of the inclusive and educational power of sport
in general and of football in particular.
"You are a man who knows what football can achieve. In addition to serving as a platform for promoting fair play, equality, health and education for everyone, the game has the power to play a central role in concrete social development programmes worldwide and so to contribute to building a better future" said Blatter.
President Blatter pointed out that "the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa represents a great opportunity and a major responsibility to provide the country as well as the whole African continent with the means to progress and develop. Through initiatives like 'Win in Africa with Africa', FIFA will leave a strong sporting legacy on the continent. The 'Football for Hope - 20 Centres for 2010' campaign will contribute to the social legacy by building community centres for development, education and health."
The Special Adviser will visit South Africa in June and will seize this opportunity to visit 'Football for Hope' projects and to meet with the 2010 FIFA World Cup Local Organizing Committee (LOC).
For more than ten years, FIFA has implemented programmes and campaigns in cooperation with various entities of the UN system including the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the International Labour Organization (ILO).