WikiLeaks published information on the UNESCO convention on traditional games blocked by the USA. As a result, the importance of preserving traditional games was only mentioned in the minutes of the 33rd General Conference of UNESCO in 2005.
Link: 05PARIS7574 (*sent from Paris in 2005)
This record is a partial extract from the original document. The full text of the original document is not available.
FROM USMISSION UNESCO PARIS
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SCUL FR UNESCO
SUBJECT: USUNESCO: 33rd GENERAL CONFERENCE ADOPTS
INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION AGAINST DOPING IN SPORT
From a document published by WikiLeaks, "Etnosport" found out that the team of Avril Haines, a lawyer at the Office of Treaty Affairs, successfully blocked the work of a group of international experts on creating the convention on traditional games. Such a convention could have been adopted by the participants of the 33rd General Conference of UNESCO in Paris, within the new edition of the International Charter of Physical Education and Sport.
However, the intervention of the United States not only aborted adoption of the convention on traditional games, but also that of the new edition of the International Charter of Physical Education and Sport itself, therefore bringing all the diversity of sports issues down to doping. As a result, the Charter itself was not adopted, the only adopted document being, in fact, the International Convention against Doping in Sport, as the one most relevant to the vital interests of the US in sport.
The prominent fact standing out in the documents of correspondence is that after the first meeting of experts on the eve of the 33rd General Conference of UNESCO, the US delegation, supported by Japan, Australia and Canada, substantially revised the text in a way that first and foremost complies with the legislation and practice of the US in this field.
The efforts of the countries that did not join in, led by Cameroon, were rewarded only by mentioning the need for a creation of a separate charter on traditional games in the uncertain future, in the minutes of the 33rd General Conference of UNESCO.
Thus, it can be stated that UNESCO, under pressure from the US, rejected the development of traditional games as sport, which has been carefully concealed since 2005. Moreover, these traditional games after 2005 became increasingly referred to not in the context of sport, but as part of the intangible cultural heritage. But who knows, it may be a more proper way. Sport is based on intricate rules, while the rules of traditional games are so simple that they are transmitted as an oral tradition – folklore, which is impossible to even imagine in sport.
Among other things, the issue of the US’s disengagement from preservation of traditional games may be considered as a continuation of their failure back in 1904, when the organizers of the Anthropological days within the III Olympic Games in St. Louis disgraced themselves. At that time, the US was sharply criticized by the IOC, by the words of Coubertin personally. Today, by virtue of WikiLeaks, we have learned that the United States once again stepped on the same rake, becoming outsiders in the field of preservation of traditional culture.