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afflict humankind, is 2015. Indeed, the MDGs placedthe Olympic Movement's own human developmentobjectives into a broader perspective. The promotionof education, human values, gender equality,environment, HIV/AIDS awareness and humandevelopment, among other issues, have long featuredon the IOC agenda. IOC world conferences, which connect sport withculture and education, environment, women,development as well as sport-for-all have beenregularly organised since the 1980s and 1990s. All have been aimed at delivering developmentassistance in key areas of need on the back ofmankind's most popular pastime.The Olympic Congress in Copenhagen last yearsought to reinforce and endorse the OlympicMovement's "development through sport" agendawith Resolution No. 36, which stated:The Olympic Movement should engage in thewidest possible way with international institutionsto support and promote the delivery of the UNMillennium Development Goals and further suchinitiatives. The Olympic Movement is equallycommitted to the protection of the globalenvironment and to forging closer relationship withthe United Nations (UN) and all other institutions torespond to this moral imperative, particularly withregard to the key issue of climate change.If this was in response to UN Secretary GeneralBan Ki-moon's acknowledgement, in his openingspeech at the Olympic Congress, of the crucial rolesport has to play in development and peace, the UNitself was just as quick to endorse the IOC'sparticipation in the work of its General Assembly bygranting it observer status.In March 2010, IOC Vice-President Mario Pescante34OLYMPIC REVIEWOLYMPISM IN ACTIONBelow Somali refugees enjoying somevolleyball RightBringing youngsters togetherat a UNHCR refugee camp Far rightUNSecretary General Ban Ki-moon and IOCPresident Jacques Rogge

was named as Permanent Observer for the IOC to the UN. "At a time when the world is faced with realthreats, and the survival of nations and of mankind islinked to behavioural change, sport is being recognisedas an important element in the search for a solution,"he said.In September 2010, the IOC took part in the UNSummit on the MDGs, when leaders from around theworld gathered to assess progress and to put forwarda strategy to meet the eight MDGs in time for the2015 deadline. IOC Executive Board Member andchair of the Rio 2016 Coordination Commission,Nawal El Moutawakel represented the IOC andpresented a report outlining the direct contribution ofthe Olympic Movement to the success of the MDGs. In response, the Summit acknowledged thecontribution of sport to the goals of the developmentof humankind. In a statement adopted unanimously,the Summit stated:We recognise that sport, as a tool for education,development and peace, can promote cooperation,solidarity, tolerance, understanding, social inclusionand health at local, national and internationallevels.Ten years after the MDGs were announced, theworld continues to suffer from environmentaldisasters. Sub-standard education and healthcareprovision and poverty are still the scourge ofdeveloping communities. And HIV and AIDS still wreakhavoc in some corners of the planet.The fact remains, though, that those past tenyears have seen an improvement of sorts. The MDGproject can be credited with prompting governments,institutions and the vast majority of the world'spopulation to think more seriously about themselves,their communities and the need to "act differently" forthe benefit of society as a whole. The term "think ?OLYMPIC REVIEW35OLYMPISM IN ACTION