United Nations and FIVB join forces to drive social change
22 November 2011
Tokyo, Japan, - The United Nations (UN) and the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) today signed a two-year partnership agreement seeking to support the attainment and awareness of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as well as to further harness the power of volleyball to bring about positive social change worldwide.
The partnership was signed at the Yoyogi Stadium in Tokyo on the sidelines of the FIVB Women's World Cup 2011 by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, Wilfried Lemke, and FIVB President, Jizhong Wei. The eight UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which includes eradicating poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality and combating HIV/AIDS – form the thematic focus for the agreement.
“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.
"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.”
A large part of the partnership consists in raising awareness of UN actions, themes, values and campaigns at FIVB tournaments and in the framework of the “FIVB Heroes” campaign. Joint promotional measures will include perimeter boards, videos, media and players’ engagement, media packs and guides, Specific joint campaigns relevant to the host nation or circumstances of the event will also be carried out.
The first event where such measures are being implemented is the FIVB World Cup currently held in Japan. During both the Women’s tournament (4-18 November) and the Men’s tournament (20 November-4 December), the UN’s ‘End Poverty 2015’ campaign (www.endpoverty2015.org) is being promoted.
FIVB's brand new “FIVB Heroes” campaign will play a crucial role in the UN-FIVB partnership and in the global promotion of FIVB's social engagement, with the "FIVB Heroes" – a dozen or so of the world's best Volleyball players – being the faces of the 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 cooperation will also be realized through the implementation of joint development and humanitarian projects, in collaboration with the national Volleyball federations in countries where FIVB tournaments will be staged, as well as with relevant UN organizations.