United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

UNESCO is the United Nations’ lead agency for physical education and sport. It promotes the educational, cultural and social dimensions of sport and physical education. It also provides support to Member States that need to elaborate or strengthen their sports policies.

UNESCO considers doping a public health issue that tarnishes the values, ethics and integrity of sport; and affects the health of users. Given UNESCO’s mandate on education, the UN body targets the erosion of ethics and the inequity created by the use of performance-enhancing drugs by athletes.

UNESCO engages in this work through its 2007 Convention on Anti-Doping in Sport. A total of 191 States Parties have ratified the Convention. The Convention helps to harmonise anti-doping legislation, guidelines, regulations, and rules internationally in order to provide a fair and equitable playing environment for all athletes.

There is a degree of flexibility. Governments can give effect to the Convention by way of legislation, regulation, policies, or administrative practices. However, States Parties commit to the following:
- encourage international cooperation to protect athletes and the ethics of sport
- limit the availability of prohibited substances and methods by combating trafficking
- facilitate doping controls and support national testing programmes
- encourage producers and distributors of nutritional supplements to establish ‘best practice’ in the labelling, marketing, and distribution of products which might contain prohibited substances
- support the implementation of anti-doping education programmes
- promote anti-doping research.

The Convention provides an assistance mechanism for States Parties to design and implement specific anti-doping capacity-building, education, and policy projects through the Fund for the Elimination of Doping in Sport.

It also helps to ensure the effectiveness of the World Anti-Doping Code.

The fight against doping in sport is based on two fundamental principles: the protection of the physical and mental health of athletes, both amateurs and professionals, and the preservation of sport ethics and values. UNESCO is actively involved in the anti-doping fight through its normative work, notably the International Convention against Doping in Sport, as well as through international cooperation, preventive education and capacity building.

In the new quadrennial 2022 - 2025, ORADO is committed to strengthening its visibility through strategic communications and visibility so that its regional work and the work of its Members, the National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs) are promoted among Pacific Island Governments that are signatory to the Convention and partnerships forged.