International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Andrew Parsons has supported the launch of a "Sport for Development Coalition" at the Finance in Common Summit in Paris.
The coalition includes several public development banks and aims to strengthen their financial resources, investments and expertise to build together a sustainable world in line with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
It is claimed that sporting figures and events are key to communicating this aim, while their investment helps to promote sport and its value for creating positive social impacts.
IPC President Andrew Parsons highlighted the IPC's experience with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) at the summit.
"The IPC congratulate the Public Development Banks who have taken the lead in forming the Sport for Development Coalition as I believe it can act as a catalyst to sport empowering social transformation," he said.
"The founding partners clearly understand the unique and impactful role sport can play in developing not just societies, but inclusive and thriving communities.
"At the IPC, we believe passionately that Change Starts with Sport and that sport can play a central role to advancing the SDGs.
"Through our own positive experiences with the IDB, we have seen first-hand how the support of a Public Development Bank can ensure that Para sport is a tremendous vehicle to transform lives, communities and societies.
"The impact of our work with the IDB has been phenomenal which is why I am extremely excited for what the Sport for Development Coalition can deliver and achieve."
Parsons highlighted the success of the IPC’s "En sus marcas, listos... Inclusión" project, which was launched in 2017 with the support of the IDB.
The initiative targeted communities in Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Peru with high rates of poverty and exclusion, who had no access to sport.
Parsons said the aim of the project was to advance social inclusion of persons with disabilities through sport and leave a positive and lasting impact in the communities.
He said the project had been "transformational" and has been expanded to more countries with the IDB’s support.
The Sport for Development Coalition includes Agence Française de Développement, the West African Development Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
The Association of National and Development Finance Institutions of the member countries of the Islamic Development Bank; the Latin American Association of Development Finance Institutions; the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau; and the Vnesheconombank also feature.
The IPC, International Olympic Committee and Paris 2024 are among the sporting organisations who are partners of the coalition.
A roadmap is set to be established by the coalition to determine actions which can be taken to achieve the sustainable development goals.
This includes areas such as education, health, equality, peace and ecological transition.
The roadmap is expected to be development over the coming months, with the coalition due to meet once a year.
Its next meeting is scheduled to take place at the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games next year.