Berlin World Summit on Physical Education


(Berlin, November 3-5, 1999) - A Landmark Event - Collective Action for a Common Purpose


Collective Action for a Common Purpose

Within ICSSPE, the International Committee of Sport Pedagogy (ICSP) links five international organisations with a common interest in physical education: the Association Internationale des Ecoles Supérieures d'Education Physique (AIESEP), the Fédération Internationale d'Education Physique (FIEP), the International Association of Physical Education and Sport for Girls and Women (IAPESGW), the International Federation of Adapted Physical Activity (IFAPA), and the International Society for Comparative Physical Education and Sport (ISCPES). The Committee as a whole has played a leading role in carrying out an international research project on the state and status of physical education around the world and in the development of the World Summit on Physical Education. The intention behind these plans has been to:

  • Raise awareness of the positive benefits of physical education;
  • Increase awareness in the public, media, governmental and private sectors about the serious situation of physical education world-wide;
  • Offer a platform for organisations and institutes to present the activities they are undertaking;
  • Compile existing research, statements and declarations;
  • Identify areas where co-operation is necessary;
  • Strengthen networks and co-ordinate plans of action and implementation.


The World Summit on Physical Education

"When I saw Ken Hardman's results, I thought: How did he know exactly what's happening in my country? I always thought we were the only ones with these problems. Now I know it is a global problem." Delegate from Namibia, World Summit on Physical Education, November 1999.


These thoughts were shared by many participants of the World Summit on Physical Education, held in Berlin from November 3-5, 1999. A total of 250 representatives from governments (including five ministers), non-governmental organisations, inter-governmental organisations, universities, schools and research centres attended this action-oriented meeting. Participants came from over 80 nations world-wide, but despite the diversity there was unanimous agreement on two fundamental issues: 1.Physical education is a right for all children and a fundamental component of their development and education. 2.Strategies and actions are needed to ensure that quality physical education is implemented and supported world-wide.


All of the eight keynote presentations from the World Summit on Physical Education have been published in the form of proceedings. Each paper builds a convincing case for physical education centred on these two issues, using evidence from a range of scientific research and practical examples. An extensive reference list appends each paper, leading readers to more detailed literature on physical education. Summaries in English, French and Spanish are available on this website, and a German version of this publication is available. Please contact the ICSSPE Executive Office for ordering information.


Moving Forward

Agenda for Action The Berlin Agenda for Action was adopted by all Summit delegates in the closing plenary session. This Call for Action is aimed at governments and reinforces the importance of physical education in the development and life-long education process. It was also clear that intervention at the national level is required. The real test of the effectiveness of the World Summit will be whether the leaders of the physical education profession are able to address the issue in their own countries and affect change.


MINEPS III The 3rd International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials responsible for Physical Education and Sport (MINEPS III) was organised by UNESCO immediately following the World Summit on Physical Education. Representatives from 62 Member States, three observer states and 38 Intergovernmental or Non-Governmental Organisations - including ICSSPE - gathered in Punta del Este, Uruguay, from November 30 to December 3, 1999. This meeting followed two earlier MINEPS meetings: MINEPS I in Paris at the UNESCO headquarters in 1976, and MINEPS II held in Moscow in November 1988.


Taking advantage of this convenient timing, ICSSPE prepared a working document that was distributed to all MINEPS III participants, using the results and recommendations from the World Summit on Physical Education. It was clear that physical education was one of the core discussion topics at the conference and the World Summit's findings played an integral role in the development of the MINEPS Recommendations.


The Steps Ahead Undoubtedly, documents such as the Berlin Agenda for Action and the MINEPS Recommendations are important levers. They have been circulated widely, raising awareness in the media and general public, and the Berlin Agenda for Action I has been endorsed by many national and international organisations. However, these documents cannot make a difference on their own. They are the first step, building momentum for action at the national and local levels.


This is why we would be very thankful to receive any information on successful actions and/or problems facing physical education in your country or region. If you have any news concerning the state and status of physical education that you would like to share with the international community, then please contact us at the ICSSPE Executive Office.


ICSSPE is convinced that unified action on a world scale is necessary to enhance the situation of physical education for all children. The Council is committed to monitoring the progress and effectiveness of the World Summit on Physical Education's outcomes and linking scientific research to this cause. ICSSPE sees this meeting as being the first step: It was successful in bringing the issues of the physical education profession to the table and is encouraging advocacy and self-analysis within the physical education profession. Building on the current knowledge base, examples of good practice and the indisputable effects of quality physical education, co-ordinated action steps in the future can enhance the quality of life of children world-wide.