Follow Us:

UNESCO promotes sports for inclusion at Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union Assembly


“Sport disregards both geographical borders and social classes and can bring marginalized youth back to the community,” said UNESCO Bangkok Consultant for Sport and Development, Caroline Baxter Tresise on the sidelines of the recent 59th Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) General Assembly in Bali.

Broadcasters play a crucial role in ensuring that marginalized groups are able to realize this potential by using their influence to challenge stigmas and ensure that marginalized groups have equal access to physical activity, she said.

One of the event’s main themes was gender and diversity, an area in which sports broadcasting has the potential to have a tremendous impact, Ms Baxter Tresise said, including through empowering women, encouraging intercultural dialogue and overcoming trauma in conflict-torn places.

She was speaking at the Sports Group Conference, a side event hosted by ABU and Radio Republik Indonesia (RRI), which brought together world experts to discuss their experiences at major sporting events, including the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. They looked at ways sports broadcasting can contribute to the promotion of diversity, and shared ideas to keep forward in this regard in future events.

UNESCO is the United Nations’ lead agency for physical education and sport, and actively promotes the UN’s belief that “the practice of physical education and sport is a fundamental right for all.”

UNESCO also presented the “Sport Is Your Gang” social project at the event. The project, run in partnership with the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur (IFMA), encourages disadvantaged and high-risk youth to engage in martial arts with the aim of providing them with positive role models, values and support systems, while directly addressing their susceptibility to gang violence.

The ABU’s 53rd General Assembly ran from 18 to 26 October and highlighted ABU members’ “social responsibility for the wellbeing of their audience”. Among other themes were gender equality, inclusion of disabled people, and confronting environmental problems in the media. During his opening address,

Rudiantara, Indonesia’s Minister of Communication and Information, reinforced his belief in broadcasters’ mission to deliver the “right content” and the responsibility of broadcasters to engage with the broader community and contribute to sustainable development.