African Games 2023: AU Sports Council and UN Counter-Terrorism Launch Global Sports Programme 2024 – 2027 partnership

Accra, Ghana

The African Union Sports Council (AUSC) and the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism have jointly launched Global Sports initiative tagged Global Sports Programme 2024 – 2027 Partnership which aims to create a synergy between the two entities to provide adequate security in the sporting arenas in Africa.

The launch took place early today at the ongoing African Games, taking place in Accra, Ghana.

In a release made available after the launch, the aim was to push for the AU/UN agenda of making the world a safer place for all.

According to the release:

“The African Union Sports Council acknowledges this unique and historic moment that Ghana is witnessing by hosting the 13th edition of the African Games 2023, that are owned by the African Union on behalf of its member states.

As we can see, the African Games bring together athletes from across the continent, putting the spotlight not only on athletic talent, but also celebrating African culture and heritage, and promoting positive values solidarity, and integration.

The Games offer a crucial and effective platform for fostering youth inclusion, gender equality, and social cohesion, all of which are key priorities for making the Agenda 2063 aspirations of “The African We Want” a tangible reality.

Briefing journalists at the launch, (L) Vatero De Divitus, Programme Coordinator, United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) Global Sports Programme – 2024-2027 and Dr. Decius Chipande, Coordinator, African Union Sports Council (AUSC) in Accra.

Through the African Union Sport Council (AUSC), established in 2016, the AU promotes sport development and sports for development in Africa with a focus on youth, safeguarding, gender equality, and regional integration, supporting programmes that use sports to promote the aspirations of the “Africa We Want.”

The AU prioritizes a people-driven vision of development, which relies especially on its women and youth, as well as the AU Sports Council mandate, to promote gender equality in sport.

Furthermore, the AU Policy for Sustainable Development of Sport in Africa 2023-2033 encourages Member States, AU Sports Council Regions and sports federation to mainstream gender within safe and inclusive sport policy frameworks, as well as other collaboration initiatives with UN and international entities.

It is within this framework that the AU Sports Council has closely collaborated with the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism in the last couple of years, since preliminary briefings were carried out with the Local Organising Committee (LOC) in November 2022, here in Accra, in preparation for these Games

Our joint collaboration with UNOCT’s Global Sports Programme, which has aimed to leverage sport-values for PVE and promote good practices on major sporting event security policies, as well as the development of youth fora, such as the one done here in Accra in November of last year, where young leaders from 20 AU Member States, officials and representatives from UN entities, the AUSC, the 13th African Games LOC, the AU Youth Division, as well as the Ghanaian National Peace Council, and the National Youth Authority, gathered to discuss the power of sports and major sporting events to PVE.

Such initiatives underscore youth’s substantive role from the initial stages of bidding, planning, executing and post-event procedures in the context of sporting events, as well as their unique potential to meaningfully engage vulnerable populations and instil resilience to violent extremism.

Building on the effective synergy already established, the AUSC and UNOCT have prepared a joint work plan for activities that we will implement in 2024.

This plan encompasses the delivery of technical assistance and guidance on the use of sport to foster peace and resilience and its safeguard, in response to requests from African Union Member States, youth leaders, sport federations and associations and civil society organizations.

This joint workplan as living proof of the good will of the AU and the fulfilment of its mandate through meaningful inclusion and engagement of women and youth to foster resilience across the African continent, the promotion of gender mainstreaming, as well as intercultural and interreligious understanding, as tools to prevent violent extremism and secure major sporting events.

Similar opportunities will be provided by the upcoming subregional games to be organized by the different AUSC Regions, which will offer more targeted and personalized interventions.

Thanks to international partners, such as the UN through its Office of Counterterrorism, for the collaboration towards using sports to contribute towards Agenda 2063 of the AU Agenda 2063″.

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