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The Japan Sports Agency and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announce partnership to use the power of sport to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

“Our Global Goals” campaign to capitalize on momentum of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
206-709-3400

TOKYO, JAPAN, November 9, 2018 – The Japan Sports Agency and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today announced a new partnership to utilize the momentum of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 to increase awareness of, and participation in, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Launching in 2019, the “Our Global Goals” project will bring together Japanese and global athletes as Ambassadors to champion the SDGs. Harnessing the spirit of sport, these ambassadors will work with both Japanese and global NGOs towards realizing the SDGs and creating a legacy of action for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.

The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (or Global Goals) are a series of ambitious objectives and targets to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and combat climate change by 2030. The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) has implemented a Sustainability Plan for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 which seeks to ensure that Tokyo 2020 contributes to the realization of the SDGs.

Building on this momentum, the Gates Foundation will provide funding and expertise for various programs to be carried out by “Our Global Goals” Ambassadors in conjunction with NGOs. These will include field visits, workshops and learning opportunities focused predominantly on the first six SDGs - No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-Being, Quality Education, Gender Equality, and Clean Water and Sanitation. Through these programs, Ambassadors will raise awareness of, and encourage participation in, actions for the realization of the SDGs.

This project has been certified as a Tokyo 2020 Official Programme. It is an extension of the Gates Foundation’s Goalkeepers initiative launched in September 2017, which uses stories, data and partnerships to highlight progress towards the Global Goals, hold governments accountable, and foster new leadership. With the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Games, the Gates Foundation aims to promote the commitment of sports communities in Japan to help achieve the SDGs and encourage global participation from civic society. The project also expands on the Japan Sports Agency’s “Sports SDGs” program and ongoing work to address social issues through sports.

With the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 as a key upcoming milestone, Japan is in the global spotlight,” said Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “Japan is already the world’s fourth largest donor of development aid, and the Our Global Goals project is an opportunity to cement the SDGs as the legacy of Japan’s Olympic Games. I am excited that Japanese athletes will support the Global Goals by inspiring people to get more engaged in the next decade leading up to the 2030 deadline.

Tomoko Ukishima, State Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology for the Government of Japan, said: “Sports have an incredible ability to attract and engage. We hope the Our Global Goals project can play an important role in building awareness and contributing to the realization of the SDGs in Japan and around the world.

Yoshiro Mori, President of The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games said: “We welcome this collaboration between the Japan Sports Agency and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and their announcement today that they will be launching various projects aimed at addressing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals through sport. We are pleased to recognise their initiative as part of the Tokyo 2020 Official Programme – the first time that SDGs have been incorporated into the planning and delivery of an Olympic and Paralympic Games. Their collaboration reflects our Games vision, and we hope the active participation of athletes in their projects after the Games will become one of Tokyo 2020’s legacies.

For more information, please visit: https://ourglobalgoals.com

Media Inquiries

Japan Sports Agency: skokusai@mext.go.jp
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: media@gatesfoundation.org

About the SDGs and the Global Goals

On September 25, 2015, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, 193 world leaders committed to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (or Global Goals). These are a series of ambitious targets to achieve three extraordinary things in the next 15 years: end extreme poverty; fight inequality and injustice; and combat climate change.

About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

About the Japan Sports Agency and ‘Sports SDGs’

The Japan Sports Agency (JSA) following the principles of the Basic Act on Sport, is an external agency established by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology for consolidated promotion of sports policies, such as increasing international competitiveness, improving health through sports, stimulating regional areas and the economy through sports, and contributing to international society. Under the slogan of “Sports SDGs”, JSA focuses energy on resolving social problems utilizing the power of sports. Sports have the power to attract and engage people. The power of sports will be utilized for raising awareness of the SDGs and ultimately for enhancing the value of sports in society.

About Goalkeepers

Goalkeepers is a multiyear campaign dedicated to accelerating progress towards the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (Global Goals). Using powerful stories, data, and partnerships, Goalkeepers highlights progress achieved, holds governments accountable, and brings together a new generation of leaders to address the world's major challenges.

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