International University Sports Federation (FISU) President Oleg Matytsin was among the speakers at the sixth International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sport in Russian city Kazan.
For the first time, leaders from the international university sport movement were invited to take the floor at the UNESCO event, which gathered representatives from more than 100 countries and 40 organisations.
Matytsin delivered his speech during the meeting’s closing session.
Like the conference itself, his address centered on the value that higher education and research have on improving physical education, physical activity and sport outcomes.
"FISU’s mission is to work for the health and well-being of students and thus to become leaders of tomorrow," the Russian said.
"FISU is cooperating with main Governmental and non-governmental institutions in order to make sport, physical activity and healthy living a big part of the lives of students."
The meeting opened with speeches from Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, who was tasked with conveying the message of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Rustam Minnikhanov, the President of Tatarstan, which is a federal subject of Russia.
Nada Al Nashif, assistant general director of social and human resources for UNESCO, led the working sessions on behalf of UNESCO general director Irina Bokova.
Al Nashif put on these sessions together with the Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov.
The event saw delegates approve the Kazan Action Plan, a working document with three main areas of focus.
The three areas are developing a comprehensive vision of inclusive access for all, maximising the contributions of sport to sustainable development and peace, and protecting the integrity of sport.
"This is why FISU is implementing dual career initiatives, events like the International Day of University Sport endorsed by UNESCO, or contributing to the scientific research on sport," Matytsin added.
"FISU strongly believes that through sport we can make our youth more responsible citizens and more active leaders in all parts of the civil society.
"Indeed, youth and sport are driving forces of changes and innovations."
FISU's inaugural Volunteer Leaders Academy concluded in Kazan earlier this month.
As part of the event's Closing Ceremony, held in Kazan City Hall, Matytsin addressed the 110 delegates and described the students’ individual contributions as a primary reason for the Academy’s success.