Winter Is Coming to Thailand with the Global Goals World Cup

Aug 30, 2017

Photo credit: NIST International School

On 29-30 September, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, better known to many as Jamie Lannister on the hit series Game of Thrones, will join the Global Goals World Cup<http://ggwcup.com> (GGWC) as an honorary referee at NIST International School in Bangkok https://protect-eu.mimecast.com/s/v06aBT3e7MRCA?domain=nist.ac.th, home of Chelsea FC Soccer School Bangkok. A partnership between EIR Soccer<http://eirsoccer.com/> and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)<http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home.html>, the GGWC works to raise awareness and rally communities in support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals through a world series of powerful soccer events. During the event, teams of adolescent girls and women will play to raise awareness of the impact of poverty, inequality and climate change, and encourage progress toward sustainable development across the world. 

Despite the many advances in combating poverty, conflict and corruption, women and children in many countries still face economic disparity, physical and emotional abuse, violence, discrimination and a lack of opportunities. They are also often the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. By leveraging voices such as Coster-Waldau’s, UNDP aims to rally public support to address these issues. During a press conference last fall following his appointment as their newest Goodwill Ambassador, he affirmed, “My main mission as UNDP Goodwill Ambassador will be to raise awareness and support for the Global Goals for a better future for all, which cannot be achieved without empowering women and protecting our planet”. 

In addition to participating in the GGWC, Coster-Waldau will collaborate with the regional UNDP staff in assessing progress toward meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. Martin Hart-Hansen, Deputy Resident Representative of the UNDP in Thailand, reports that “while visiting Thailand, Nikolaj will also visit several UNDP projects focusing on how community groups, many led by women and youth, work together to fight the effects of climate change, to experience first-hand the commitment of these communities to achieving sustainable development”. 

As a not-for-profit school founded on the principles of the UN, NIST shares UNDP's mandate in advocating for the SDGs through the school's mission to inspire growth, empower individual excellence and enrich lives. The most recent graduates included students who founded a non-profit coffee company in partnership with farmers in northern Thailand, built an early childhood centre in Cambodia and funded scholarships for children of the school's support staff. NIST alumni often go on to become advocates in their communities, including the Class of 2007's Praya Lundberg, a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. 

Similarly, both Chelsea FC Soccer School Bangkok and Eir Soccer share a passion for building communities and sparking change through sport. Majken Gilmartin, CEO of Eir Soccer and co-founder of the GGWC, believes "that sport has a unique power to unite all kinds of people around the common goal of making the world better. This partnership with Chelsea, NIST and the UNDP is a perfect example of the kinds of innovative alliances that are needed in order to accelerate progress towards sustainable development, and we look forward to expanding the Global Goals World Cup series to Asia". 

Leading up to the GGWC at NIST, female teams will be invited to participate by championing one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and taking action before the event. Whether by raising funds or staging an event, teams will receive special points for creative ways of supporting their chosen goal. They will then play a series of friendly matches on the second day of the event, refereed by Coster-Waldau, with the winning team qualifying for the GGWC championship. 

Take action. Make a difference. Join us in building a more equitable, sustainable world at the Global Goals World Cup. 

Communications and Outreach Officer

Nathanik Klaklangsmorn: nathanik.klaklangsmorn@undp.org