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22 August 2013

(Issued as received) The United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP) will today commence with the Asian edition of the Youth Leadership Programme (YLP). Held in Gwangju, Republic of Korea, the 13 day event will focus on the education of young community sports volunteers from different countries in the Asian and Oceanic region.

As the seventh edition of this now well established programme, the Gwangju YLP will invite 33 participants from 19 different countries. Working in close cooperation with the 2015 Gwangju Universiade Organising Committee (GUOC) and the NGO Right To Play, this YLP is set to be the most diverse so far.

Representing the Fijian Football Association’s Just Play Programme, Shina Shainaaz Ali, has been counting down the days until the start of Gwangju YLP.

“I am really looking forward to the camp, to make new friends and to learn as much as I can from the facilitators. It is also going to be a strange experience for me, as this will be my first time being away from home, but I am sure that the hosts and other participants will make me feel welcome.”

The Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, Mr. Wilfried Lemke, is also in Gwangju to meet all the participants, and to take part in the EPICS Forum. As the flagship initiative of UNOSDP, Mr. Lemke is especially pleased to launch the YLP in Asia.

“The Asian and Oceanic region has always been one of my desired locations to host the YLP, and when the GUOC approached me to host the seventh camp I was delighted. The settings are perfect for a fortnight long sports programme, and the variety of participants in Gwangju is excellent.”

Following the Special Adviser’s recent trip to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, three North Korean youth have made the journey from Pyongyang to Gwangju to participate in the cultural and sporting exchange.

“This is the first step at bringing the North and South closer together using a sporting platform. Our unique programme offers the participants the opportunity to exchange dialogue and their experiences in peaceful surroundings.”

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Media Contact:
UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace
media.unosdp(at) / +41 (0)22 917 47 12

Mr. Wilfried Lemke, of Germany, was appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as his Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace on 11 April 2008, serving on a $1 per year salary with the rank of Under-Secretary-General. In this role, the Special Adviser aims to reach out further to the world of sport and more systematically and coherently encourage the use of sport the pursuit of development cooperation, humanitarian aid and peace-building efforts. Mr. Lemke succeeded Adolf Ogi, former President of the Swiss Confederation, who had served as Special Adviser since 2001.

For use of the information media; not an official record