Fourth Meeting of Commonwealth Sports Ministers - 9 August 2008, Beijing, People's Republic of China

Page last updated: 30 October 2013

The Fourth meeting of Commonwealth Sport Ministers discussed matters which will influence the future development of sport across the Commonwealth, and maintain the framework of support and cooperation which has developed between the 53 countries and 18 territories of the Commonwealth.


  • Noted the progress made since they last met in Melbourne in March 2006, and as outlined in the country reports provided to the meeting by many of the participating countries.
  • Noted that 52 Commonwealth countries had signed the Copenhagen Declaration on Anti-Doping in Sport, and that 26 Commonwealth countries had become a state party to the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport.
  • Noted the work of the Commonwealth Advisory Board on Sport (CABOS), as outlined in its report to the meeting (Development through sport), and in its commitment to build on its advocacy work through Ministerial meetings, through the appointment of a full-time sports adviser in the Commonwealth Secretariat, and through the integration of that sports work with that of the Commonwealth Youth Programme.
  • Acknowledged the good work carried out by the Commonwealth Secretariat in partnership with the World Anti-Doping Agency, in supporting the work of the Regional Anti-Doping Offices in Africa, the Caribbean and Oceania, and expressed the wish that this continue.
  • Recognized the growing momentum of the 'sport for development' movement, and the congruence with the work of the Commonwealth to support the achievement of health, social and economic development through sport.
  • Noted with interest the launch of the final report of the UN Sport for Development and Peace International Working Group entitled Harnessing the Power of Sport for Development and Peace: Recommendations for Governments and agreed to consider the report recommendations and the development of action plans.
  • Supported the recommendation for the establishment of the full-time position of Sports Adviser within the Youth Affairs Division at the Commonwealth Secretariat.
  • Supported more Youth engagement and involvement with the work of CABOS and sport in general.
  • Noted the progress on the hosting of the Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG) in Pune, India from 12th to 18th October 2008, and the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India from 1st to 14th October 2010.
  • Acknowledged, and agreed to consider, the following policy recommendations adopted by Commonwealth Youth Ministers in Colombo in April 2008:
    • Youth policies should include universal access to sport education in schools, in curricular and extra curricular time. This should include the necessary knowledgeto ensure that young people understand the need for an active and healthy lifestyle.
    • Youth policies should ensure that all teachers and coaches are supported with professional development opportunities to ensure that they are equipped to deliver high quality programmes that provide a positive experience for young people.
    • Youth policies should provide sport activity guidelines for community providers, including sports federations, so that they can complement and supplement provision in schools.
    • Youth policies should be founded on research to determine the most important factors influencing participation of youth with special needs, and they should develop customized national strategies and programmes to address these issues.
    • Youth policies should include specific provisions to prevent the physical, psychological and sexual exploitation of young people participating in sport.
    • Youth policies should ensure that young people have a voice in shaping youth sport strategies, and that they are meaningfully involved in the implementation of any action plans.
    • Youth policies should include provision for community play environments that are safe, clean, accessible, and that encourage enjoyable physical activity. Moreover, they should promote sport which is affordable - needing less infrastructure and more community participation. They should also promote sport as an investment in national development, using sport exchange programmes at local and regional levels to engage young people in team building, leadership and healthy living, thus fostering tolerance, understanding and cooperation.
    • Youth sports policies should recognize the power of sport for development, and should target programmes at those groups that can most benefit from intervention, and which are least likely to have access to other opportunities.
    • Youth policies should draw together key departments at national and local level - education, health, sport, gender, culture, law and order, social inclusion - to ensure an integrated youth sport strategy.
  • Congratulated the host country China for the spectacular opening ceremony of the 29th Olympiad and for bringing together Commonwealth nations for the Olympic games.
  • Agreed to meet again in the margins of the Commonwealth Games to be held in New Delhi in 2010.

9 August 2008