FINA is very pleased to announce the adoption by UNESCO – the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation – of the revised version of the “International Charter of Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport”. Originally adopted in 1978, the document’s main objective was to declare that “the practice of physical education and sport is a fundamental right for all”. On its point 2.2., the Charter also clearly specifies that “the ability to swim is a vital skill for every person”. The recent approval of this document occurred during UNESCO 38th General Conference, organised in Paris (FRA) from November 3-18, 2015.
After receiving support and feedback from governmental authorities, sport organisations, academic researchers and experts from the civil society, the revised Charter considers “sport as catalyst for peace and development” and highlights the importance of strategies aimed at “preserving the integrity of sport and favouring grassroots activities”. Throughout its 12 articles, this document also recognises physical education as a “driver for promoting gender equality, social inclusion, non-discrimination and sustained dialogue in our societies”.
The FINA President Dr. Julio C. Maglione expressed his satisfaction with this decision: “I’ve been working for many years now on these matters – Sport for All – and the adoption of this revised Charter represents a great milestone in promotion of physical education in the five continents. FINA is also committed to this essential effort and has recently launched its ‘ Swimming for All, Swimming for Life’ programme, aimed at reducing the alarming rates of drowning worldwide by getting more and more children acquainted with the practice of Swimming”.
Irina Bokova, UNESCO’s Director-General said: “The adoption of the revised Charter should mark a shift away from words towards action, from policy intent to implementation. It sets the tone for a new international sport policy debate, which should now focus on the exchange of good practice, education and training programmes, capacity development, and advocacy”.
See also UNESCO