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Calls to boost the role of sport

Swiss president Schmid (left), Becker and Ogi in Magglingen

(Keystone)

An international conference in Switzerland has called for renewed efforts to use sport to promote peace and support health and education across the globe.

The three-day meeting marked the end of the United Nations International Year of Sport.

The conference adopted a ten-point programme, dubbed "Call to action", on Tuesday.

It appealed to all parties concerned to use the legacy of the UN International Year of Sport to promote peace worldwide, and recognise the role of sport in education and health.

The resolution was handed over to the UN special advisor on sport for development and peace, Adolf Ogi, and the head of the Swiss Agency for Development and Corporation (SDC), Walter Fust, at the end of the conference in Magglingen, near Biel.

Ogi promised to continue his mission beyond 2005.

"I will call on the main sport organisations and the private sector to increase their financial support for our projects," Ogi said.

Milestone

Fust said the three-day meeting was another milestone on the way to a global partnership between the world of sport and development. "We are on the right track, but more needs to be done," Fust added.

"The fire has been lit. It must never be extinguished," Ogi concluded.

More than 420 representatives from 69 countries, including sports personalities such as tennis player Boris Becker and Olympic speed skating champion, Johann Olav Koss, took part in the meeting.

The SDC pledged to continue its financial support for Ogi's projects and new multinational and bilateral activities in the field of sport.

SDC director Fust also announced that the next international conference is scheduled for 2008.

swissinfo with agencies

In brief

More than 420 representatives from 69 countries took part in the 2nd Magglingen Conference on Sport and Development.

Switzerland's Adolf Ogi, a former Swiss cabinet minister, was appointed UN special advisor on sport for development and peace in 2001.

The Swiss government is financing Ogi's mission with SFr410,000 ($313,936) over the next two years.

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