Media Release

CGF President vows to humanise not politicise sport at Sporting Chance Forum at UNESCO HQ in Paris

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) President Louise Martin CBE will tomorrow (12 December 2018) help open the 3rd Sporting Chance Forum at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris – an influential, high-level two-day conference committed to driving progress toward a world of sport that fully respects human rights. 

Hosted by the Centre for Sport and Human Rights, UNESCO and the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB), the event marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. At the event, Louise Martin will deliver opening remarks whilst CGF Chief Executive Officer David Grevemberg CBE will join a panel discussion on human rights and sustainable development.

CGF President Louise Martin CBE said: “Respecting, protecting and promoting human rights in all we do is fundamentally about acting responsibly towards those we serve and maximising the positive impact that we can have on society when we are fortunate enough to be custodians of a uniquely powerful force – sport. 

The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games were a sensational sporting spectacle, but also an example of how we can champion and realise the social impact of sport. We launched a first-ever Reconciliation Action Plan. We empowered athletes and fans to engage and use the Games to promote the rights of LGBTI+ people worldwide or respectfully commemorate the UN Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Rwanda Genocide. We were also very proud to help launch during the Games the Sporting Chance Principles for Human Rights and Mega-Sporting Events.

This is about humanising – not politicising sport – and making the most of this great opportunity for the global sport sector and the Commonwealth Sports Movement in particular to deliver positive change for athletes, communities and fans.”

Other key figures joining the Sporting Chance Forum in Paris are representatives from FIFA, UEFA, the IOC, the IPC, the Special Olympics, Paris 2024 and the International Netball Federation. The Forum will cover a range of topics and issues including child safeguarding, athletes’ rights, worker safety, media freedom and community wellbeing. 

In addition to reflections on Gold Coast 2018, the actions that the CGF is continuing to take to fully embed Human Rights in future events will also be outlined. Already, the 2022 Host City Contract goes further than ever before in implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, thanks to advisory support from partners at UNICEF, IHRB and other bodies.

CGF Chief Executive Officer David Grevemberg CBE said: “Each Games is different and the next Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England take place in a city with a rich and complex history; a city region with economic and social ambitions focused on the empowerment of its youth and diverse communities. We are passionately committed to ensuring we harness the power of sport to help the city thrive and flourish but also respond to challenges around social, racial, ethnic and religious cohesion. 

Our human rights approach therefore most continue to adapt and evolve and to support this, the CGF Executive Board has agreed to undertake, in partnership with Birmingham 2022, a comprehensive strategy to identify, mitigate and if necessary remedy our salient human rights risks, creating even more relevant and powerful opportunities to celebrate and promote human rights in all that we do.”

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games take place from 27 July to 7 August 2022. 

More details on the Sporting Chance Forum which takes place on 12 and 13 December in Paris can be found here:

More details on the CGF’s Human Rights Statement, approved in Colombo, Sri Lanka in October 2017:

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