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UN Sustainable Development Goals Discussed at Latest NI Sport and Human Rights Forum

15 Apr 2024

On Tuesday 9th April the Northern Ireland Sport and Human Rights Forum took place at the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission office in Belfast.

Following a survey of more than sixty members in 2023, to find out what areas they would like discussed, the topic of how sport can support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) was selected. Three world class experts volunteered their time for free to speak at the forum.

The speakers were:

  • David Donoghue - Irelands’ Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Co-Facilitator of the negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda – set the scene on the importance of the UN SDGs and the role sport can play.
  • Rishi Jain – Director of Impact, Liverpool FC talked about the Red Way and how that relates to the UN SDGs.
  • Catherine Carty – UNESCO Chair talked about her work promoting human rights through sport, in particular around the importance of inclusion for people with disabilities, and how this intersects with the UN SDGs, education and health agendas.

Approximately 50 people attended the forum in person and online with guests from UEFA, the Commonwealth Secretariat, Ulster University, Canterbury Christ Church University and Commonwealth Forum of National Human Rights Sport and Human Rights Working Group joining local sports and charities represented from all over NI.

Brian Armstrong who is a member of the forum via Alternatives said:

Excellent presentations and very useful for attendees”.

Anna Pimm who is a new member from At The Heart of the Game added:

Very insightful meeting from the NI Sport and Human Rights Forum on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Really interesting hearing how at the Heart of the Game aligns with these goals. Looking forward to the next meeting in September focusing on inclusion”.

Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission’s Chief Commissioner Alyson Kilpatrick concluded:

On behalf of the Commission I would like to thank our guest speakers and all who attended. Sport can be a great vehicle for ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all (SDG 3); ensuring inclusive and quality education for all and promoting life-long learning (SDG 4); achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls (SDG 5). Our next forum is in September and shall be focused on Sport and Inclusive Practices where we shall showcase the work of some of our members who have signed up to our Declaration of Sport and Human Rights”.


To join or find out more about the NI Sport and Human Rights Forum please contact .

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