Chairman & CEO Timothy Shriver Addresses UNESCO World-Sport-Ministers Conference

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Special Olympics Chairman & CEO Timothy Shriver provided a keynote address at the 5th UNESCO World-Sport-Ministers Conference. He shared the impact the Special Olympics Movement is having throughout the world, especially in developing nations.

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For Immediate Release

 

Berlin, Germany --  Special Olympics Chairman & CEO Timothy Shriver provided a keynote address at this week's 5th UNESCO World-Sport-Ministers Conference (MINEPS V).  He joined German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge, Chairman of the International Paralympics Committee Sir Phil Craven, and Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova at the Opening Session of the conference. One goal of the conference was to establish the 'Declaration of Berlin', which, as one of three key areas, also included Sport as a Fundamental Right for All.

During his keynote address, Shriver shared the impact the Special Olympics Movement is having throughout the world, especially in developing nations. Serving the largest disability population in the world, Special Olympics has been influencing policy for people with intellectual disabilities through sports, but also addressing health, education and community building needs throughout the world.

"This week's UNICEF State of the World's Children report chronicles an epidemic of discrimination against children with all disabilities and in most cases the most severe discrimination is against children with intellectual disabilities," shared Shriver during his address. "We cannot talk about equality. We cannot pretend to project the idea of equality in large stadiums and large conferences. The hard work of equality will come when we commit to a citizen level infrastructure, serious political enterprise, and partnerships with the private sector to reach the most vulnerable children and adults.  Otherwise, our words are meaningless."

Special Olympics is raising the awareness around serious issues facing people with intellectual disabilities and addressing them head on through sports, health, education and community building programs in more than 170 countries around the world. Earlier this year, world leaders from government, business, education, economic and social development, media and civil society convened in PyeongChang, Republic of Korea at the Special Olympics Global Development Summit on Ending the Cycle of Poverty and Exclusion for People with Intellectual Disabilities. This Summit, the first of its kind focusing solely on people with intellectual disabilities, examined the urgent needs of the largest disability population throughout the world and took place as part of the world's largest sports and humanitarian event, Special Olympics World Winter Games PyeongChang 2013 and was co-hosted by Special Olympics and the Special Olympics World Winter Games Organizing Committee PyeongChang 2013. Attendees included Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, MP, Chairperson, National League for Democracy, Burma (Myanmar), Her Excellency Joyce Banda, President of Malawi, Senator and Vice Minister Jan McLucas, Government of Australia, The Honorable Wilfried Lemke, Special Envoy, the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace, Mr. Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company, and NBA Legend Mr. Dikembe Mutumbo,

During his time in Berlin, Shriver also met with First Lady of Germany Daniela Schadt to thank her for her new patronage of Special Olympics Germany.

 


About Special Olympics

 

Special Olympics is an international organization that changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect worldwide. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to more than four million athletes in over 170 countries in all regions of the world, providing year-round sports training, athletic competition and other related programs. Special Olympics now take place every day, changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities all over the world, from community playgrounds and ball fields in every small neighborhood's backyard to World Games. Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy and friendship. Visit Special Olympics at www.specialolympics.org. Engage with us on: Twitter @specialolympics; fb.com/specialolympics; youtube.com/specialolympicshq, and specialolympicsblog.wordpress.com.

 

Contact

Kirsten Seckler
Special Olympics
202-715-1147
kseckler@specialolympics.org

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