The United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace was the recipient of the 2010 UEFA Monaco Charity Award of €1m during the UEFA Club Football Awards.
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The 2010 UEFA Monaco Charity Award of €1m has been presented to the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP).
The prize – following a decision by the UEFA Fair Play and Social Responsibility Committee – was handed over by UEFA president Michel Platini to Wilfried Lemke, special adviser to the United Nations secretary-general on sport for development and peace, during the UEFA Club Football Awards and UEFA Champions League group stage draw on Thursday.
Every year since 1999, for the kick-off of the European club competition season, UEFA awards a deserving organisation that is mobilising the power of sport to achieve positive change with its annual charity cheque as a sign of appreciation. UNOSDP will deploy the funds to five UN or UN-supported projects harnessing the power of sport, physical activity and play as instruments to improve the daily lives of persons in need. The recipient organisations will work towards the accomplishment of the UN objectives, in particular the eight Millennium Development Goals.
Under the leadership of Wilfried Lemke, the Office leads and coordinates the efforts of the UN system to promote understanding and support for sport as an engine for positive social change. Based on the premise that sport is a fundamental right for all people, and that it should not be considered as an end in itself but rather as a means to trigger social uplift, the Office assists Mr Lemke in his worldwide activities as an advocate, facilitator and representative of the social purposes of sport and play.
Alongside the UN objectives, UNOSDP also attaches importance to Mr Lemke's five priorities in his role as special adviser which are youth leadership development, gender equality, the empowerment of persons with physical and intellectual disabilities as well as development and peace-building in Africa and the Middle East.
The 2010 UEFA Monaco Charity Award is of great significance as it will further enhance the powerful social impact of sport – and football in particular – assisting its development to its full potential.
"We are very honoured to be able to partner with UEFA as a result of this prestigious award," Mr Lemke said in an interview with UEFA.com. "This new partnership allows the UN to solidify our cooperation with one of the premier sports organisations in the world and together to promote sport, in particular football, as an efficient and recognised tool for positive social change."
UNOSDP is proud to be the recipient of this prestigious prize and is very thankful to UEFA for its decision to award it to the United Nations. UNOSDP hopes the award will encourage more sports federations, leagues and clubs to establish collaborations with the Office and other United Nations organisations to foster development projects through sport.
Şenes Erzik, UEFA's Fair Play and Social Responsibility Committee chairman and first UEFA vice-president, said he was looking forward to working with the UNOSDP platform: "Football is a fertile ground for fraternity and diversity. We are all equal with a ball at our feet and UEFA, together with UNOSDP, will continue promoting civic commitments and helping in combating social ills and defending major humanitarian causes."
Previous UEFA charity cheque winners:
2009 – National Association for Disabled Supporters (NADS)
2008 – European Leukodystrophy Association (ELA)
2007 – Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association (CPISRA)
2006 – International Blind Sports Association (IBSA)