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The Late Dame Mary Glen Haig DBE

Life President*, Youth Charter

"The Youth Charter’s efforts from the youth cultural exchange of the UN Criminal Tribunal in the Hague visit, its lobbying at UN HQ in New York, its contribution and co-facilitation at UN hosted conferences and presentations of its work and programme delivery with ILO, UNESCO, UNICEF and UN Aid."

“Over the past twelve years, the journey of the Youth Charter has been both a challenge and an opportunity highlighting the role of sport in the lives of young people as a social vehicle of change. The Youth Charter has innovated, developed and inspired much locally, nationally and internationally. Locally the Youth Charter’s philosophy, mission and objectives have been delivered with programmes and projects reflecting disaffected and disadvantaged young people and communities and the positive role that sporting and cultural activity can play. Many of the intervention and diversionary projects and programmes developed by the Youth Charter have now inspired policy nationally. Many government agencies have initiated guidelines resulting from the Youth Charter’s efforts to place sport on the government agenda in its delivery of wider social policy. Internationally, the Youth Charter has presented as part of Britain’s ongoing bidding and hosting of major events a similar approach advocating, campaigning, presenting and delivering in over 30 countries on all five continents the principles and role of Olympism and the Commonwealth Games as continued vehicles of social and cultural cohesion. Of significant note has been the Youth Charter’s work within the United Nations. Over the last nine years, the Youth Charter’s efforts from the youth cultural exchange of the UN Criminal Tribunal in the Hague visit, its lobbying at UN HQ in New York, its contribution and co-facilitation at UN hosted conferences and presentations of its work and programme delivery with ILO, UNESCO, UNICEF and UN Aid. This is testimony to the remarkable efforts of an agency that, in the main exists on the voluntary efforts of many. The symbol of the Youth Charter has been its scroll, signed by over 500 sportsmen and women in support of our philosophy, mission, objectives and belief that sports achievers, who mostly come from socially and economically deprived backgrounds, can act as a catalyst in realising as well as mobilising efforts for and on behalf of disadvantaged and disaffected young people and communities throughout the world. As in all efforts of this kind the Youth Charter has experienced significant challenges, hurdles and barriers. As Chair of Trustees I have witnessed the Agency’s birth. As a former competitor, IOC Member and sporting citizen, I have followed the Charter’s progress from the streets of Moss Side, Los Angeles and Johannesburg and the UN Criminal Tribunal at The Hague, I have witnessed first hand the extraordinary efforts of this Agency that has given opportunity through tragedy. With London’s hosting of the 2012 Olympics, the Youth Charter has presented proposals that would benefit not only that of the East End of London which developed the drive, enthusiasm and determination of the man who founded this remarkable effort, but as a legacy and benefit of youth inclusion and regeneration identified by the bid and now local organising committee - a true opportunity for our youth now presents itself.”

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