“Sport is a great leveller that can bring people together in a way that nothing else can”, highlighted Deputy Secretary General while addressing the 10th Commonwealth Sports Ministers Meeting in Birmingham.
Bjørn Berge underlined how the Council of Europe’s four-year strategic priorities for sports makes an important contribution to a solid and more resilient democracy: “we must do everything we can to uphold and secure vibrant and free democracies throughout Europe and beyond”, he said.
Moreover, Deputy Secretary General mentioned the relevance of the Organisation’s treaties (anti-doping, “match-fixing” and safety & security at events) in the field of sport, alongside with the international high-level partnerships (UEFA, FIFA, IOC, IPACS), and the revised European Sports Charter.
The meeting (held every two years alongside the Commonwealth Games or Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games) primary objective is to advance consensus and co-operation on key sport policy issues across the Commonwealth. Under the theme Creating an Inclusive and Resilient Sport Sector; Ministers underlined the contribution sport can make to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with an emphasis on proactively responding to sports’ human rights and equality issues as nations build back following the Covid-19 pandemic. The agenda included how investment in sport can be leveraged to boost equitable development and showcased examples of innovation in the sector.