FIFA and the UN: 12 years of fruitful collaboration

This Tuesday 25 January 2011, Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) received a visit from Ban Ki-Moon, General Secretary of the United Nations (UN), in Lausanne. FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, as a member of the IOC Board, also attended the meeting, in which they reaffirmed their commitment to a number of upcoming initiatives aimed at using sport as a tool for peace, education and development.

FIFA has worked hand in hand with the UN for a long time, through numerous campaigns and programs designed to promote peace and development through football. FIFA.com reminds you of the key dates of this fruitful collaboration.

June 1999 : United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter meet in New York and announce the start of a new relationship between their organisations aimed at promoting shared common values.

June 1999 : FIFA, UEFA, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) join forces to improve living conditions for refugee children through football in the Kosovo crisis area.

January 2000 : FIFA and the African Football Confederation (CAF) use the occasion of the 22nd African Cup of Nations in Ghana and Nigeria to support the World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners in their ‘Kick Polio out of Africa’ campaign.

November 2001 : The global alliance between FIFA and UNICEF is launched on 20 November at the UN Headquarters in New York in the presence of FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy and football legend Pelé among others. The alliance started at the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea  Korea/Japan™.

April 2002 : FIFA supports the ‘Smoke-Free Soccer’ campaign, which was launched by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

June 2002: Korea/Japan 2002 is dedicated to the UNICEF’s ‘Say Yes for Children’ campaign.

February 2003 : FIFA and the International Labour Organization (ILO) agree to collaborate under the banner of the existing ‘Red Card to Child Labour’ and wave a red card at child labour, uniting the world of sport and the world of work in an unprecedented global campaign.

September 2003 :  FIFA dedicates the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003™ to UNICEF’s public advocacy campaign, ‘Go Girls! Education for Every Child!’, in an effort to raise awareness of the fundamental right of children to education.

December 2003 : The first-ever ‘Match against Poverty’ takes place after the FIFA World Player Gala 2003. The match is an initiative organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with the support of FIFA, bringing together Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane and others in Basel’s St. Jakob Park.

November 2004 : FIFA dedicates the FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship Thailand 2004 to UNICEF’s campaign ‘Go Girls! Education for Every Child!’ in an effort to raise awareness of the fundamental right of education for every child.

July 2005 : FIFA signs the UNEP declaration of Aichi, agreeing to adopt and promote environmental activities and helping tackle global environmental problems through sports to create a sustainable society.

January 2006 : FIFA re-emphasises its full backing to the ILO/IPEC programme ‘Elimination of Child Labour in the Soccer Ball Industry’, and a number of incentives designed to highlight the importance of human rights and education for children around the globe. FIFA has been supporting the programme financially since 1997.

May 2006 : FIFA and UNICEF officially kick off their joint campaign for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ under the banner ‘Unite for Children, Unite for Peace’.

September 2007 : FIFA and UNICEF join forces to launch a ‘Goals for Girls!’ campaign designed to promote education, gender equality and rights for women and girls at the FIFA Women's World Cup China 2007.

January 2010: The seventh ‘Match Against Poverty’ is played in Lisbon and supported by FIFA. The proceeds raised at the game are dedicated to the UNDP programme in Haiti (matches were supported by FIFA since 2003).

June 2010:  UNICEF, in co-operation with the Government of South Africa and NGO partners, establish child-friendly spaces as part of a national child protection programme at four of the FIFA Fan Fests in three host cities of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.