UNESCO is the United Nations’ leading agency for Physical Education and Sports events. Guidance and assistance services are provided for governments, NGOs, and experts to debate the evolving challenges of physical education and sports activities. The organization also advises and assists member’s states, wishing to strengthen and elaborate on their training system in physical education. Furthermore, it offers its expertise in the implementation and designing of development programs in the domain of sport.
UNESCO provides advisory services, guidance, and assessments in related areas such as culture and social development; for example, to promote and develop traditional games and sport.
This program mainly focuses on the following diverse themes:
• Sport for Peace and Development
• Anti-Doping and anti-corruption
• Women and Sport
• Quality Physical Education among youngsters
• International Charter for Physical Activity and Physical Education and Sport
• Values Education through Sport activities
In addition, UNESCO plays the role of an administrative unit for the Inter-governmental Committee for Physical Education and Sport (CIGEPS). This Committee, composed of a total of 18 elected Members States, has been created to promote international cooperation in the area of physical activity to strengthening friendship, peace understanding, and mutual respect between peoples.
Recently UNESCO Traditional Sports and Games committee leaders visited South Korea for finding the legal possibilities of hosting 5th Collective Consultation meeting of UNESCO of Traditional Sports & Games and World UNESCO Traditional Games in South Korea.
Chairman of Advisory Committee of Traditional Sports and Games, UNESCO Mr. Khalil Ahmed Khan and Rapporteur Mr. Shammi Rana Advisory Committee on Traditional Sports and Games, UNESCO recently paid visit to South Korea for organizing Traditional Sports and Games in their visit they visited UNESCO Korean National office in Seoul, Korea and they had a brief meeting with Assistant Secretary-General Korean National Commission for UNESCO Mr. Kim Kwi-bae and Mr. Myoung Shim Kim Senior Program Specialist for the possible support of UNESCO project on Traditional Sports and Games.
Both leaders visit two different cities in South Korea and they were welcomed by the City Government of Gimhae and City Government of Gyeongju.
The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, meeting in Port Louis (Mauritius), has decided to engrave traditional Korean wrestling also known as Ssirum or Ssireum, on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, on the basis of a joint application by the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Traditional Korean wrestling sport—“Ssirum” in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and “Ssireum” in the Republic of Korea—has a very deep significance for all Koreans. Fundamentally linked to the land of agriculture’s, it is both a national sport and a very popular cultural practice in Korea. Competitions are regularly organized during agricultural events or festivals linked to different the cycle of the seasons.
Both Leaders from UNESCO meet with Chairman of Ulsan Metropolitan City Mr. Hwang Se-Young, Mr. Lee Sand Member’s Parliament of Republic of Ulsan South Korea and Mr. Lee Kee-heung President of Korean Sport & Olympic Committee and discuss hosting an upcoming event in Ulsan, South Korea.
They also had a meeting with officials of Korea Halal Authority for the sponsorship for the Traditional Sports and Games, UNESCO.
This whole scenario is regarding ongoing development on the promotion of UNESCO concept on traditional sports and games and this is about member activities to promote TSG concept throughout the world, where are trying to get support from the different member's states of UNESCO to build a community promoting sports in Korea.
This trip to Korea by both leaders of UNESCO was for the possibilities of hosting the upcoming event of UNESCO on traditional sports and games in Korea
Promoting and Safeguarding Traditional Sports and Games (TSG) as intangible cultural heritage and sports practices is a key challenge for the future development of societies and sport.
TSG enhances the intercultural dialogue and peace, reinforce youth empowerment and promote ethical sport practices all around.
“The celebration of traditional and indigenous forms of sports and games, which derive from the roots of many different communities, is a growing future for contemporary culture.”
The establishment of a Group of Friends of UNESCO Traditional Sports and Games was then decided to team up with the Member States and join forces. Over the past few months, Member States have shown interest and support in this domain by signing the Letter of Commitment and joining the Group. Members of the Group of Friends are encouraged to take ownership of the TSG initiatives at the national level through consultations, policies, cultural events.
This may lead to the Member States’ authorize with a particular focus on advocating for the promotion and safeguarding of traditional sports and games with the best guidance and technical support from UNESCO’s Secretariat in close cooperation with the United Nations system.