of the Representative of Ukraine
on a.i. 11 of the 68th session of the UN General Assembly
“Sport for peace and development”
(6 November 2013, New York)
Ukraine has traditionally recognized the value of sport in building a peaceful and better world, promoting tolerance, equality and understanding among people and nations. Through its unique convening power, sport can transcend the boundaries and bring people together irrespective of their race, religion and political opinion.
The Government of Ukraine firmly believes in the potential of sport to contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, and to make a real difference in the lives of people, including those from the most vulnerable groups.
In Ukraine sport and physical education are considered from a broader perspective of promoting healthy life-styles. This constitutes a strategic priority of the Government’s policy. We believe that using holistic multisectoral approaches for sport can be a most effective to help achieve the MDGs, including those on health and education. To this end the Ministry of Youth and Sports was reestablished in Ukraine earlier this year. This structure is a principle arm for policy development in the sphere of sport, physical education and youth. About 5 million Ukrainians, equivalent to 11 per cent of the entire population, are engaged in regular physical exercise. There are more than 4 576 sports club, 672 youth sports school and 106 sport facilities in my country.
Guided by the noble ideals and principles of the Paralympic movement, Ukraine attaches particular attention to the use of sport as a means to rehabilitating persons with disabilities and enhancing their social inclusion. There is a unique state sports institution functioning in my country – Ukrainian center on physical education and sport for persons with disabilities. It encompasses 27 regional centers and 106 local offices, 26 sport schools for children with disabilities. More than 51,000 persons with disabilities actively practice sport and use it for the purposes of rehabilitation.
We emphasize the importance of the mass media in raising awareness on the values of sport and healthy life-styles, increasing physical activity in the entire population. In this regard our National Olympic Committee is in progress to establish the National sports channel in Ukraine.
For its part, Ukraine is committed to promoting sport as a means to advance peace and development in the world. As a contribution to this cause, Ukraine together with Poland hosted last year the 14th European Football Championship. This was the first UEFA championship in the Eastern Europe and it is our sincere hope that this major event was a success contributing to the renewed spirit of friendship and solidarity in the region and its social and economic development as a whole.
In 2013 we hosted 32 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championship, as well as world youth championships in boxing and athletics. In 2015 we will also host 39 European Basketball Championship.
I have the pleasure to inform the General Assembly that yesterday the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine, supported by the Government of Ukraine, has officially declared the intention to organize 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Lviv. Our vision of the Games goes far beyond economic outlook, improved infrastructure, new facilities or promoting Ukraine’s global image. For us, it is rather about developing a legacy for future generation built upon our collective respect for sport and its basic values – friendship, goodwill, tolerance and fair-play competition.
To support the realization of this initiative the national project “Olympic Hope – 2022” was developed which aims to create in Ukraine the appropriate sports and tourist infrastructure to host 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
My delegation commends the continued work of the UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace and UN New York Office of Sport for Development. Both of them have contributed into advocating sport as a tool to attain peace-building, development and humanitarian objectives. We would like to assure of our full support for their activities.
Ukraine is also pleased to co-sponsor today’s draft resolution entitled “Building a peaceful and better world through sport and Olympic ideal” (A/68/L.8) and would like to wish our Russian colleagues well-deserved success with the upcoming XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.
Thank you, Mr. President.