Special Olympics Europe Eurasia

25 April 2022, Geneva, Switzerland – The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) has appointed the President and Managing Director of Special Olympics Europe Eurasia David S. Evangelista to the Advisory Board of its Division for Multilateral Diplomacy.  The two-year term takes effect from January 2022 to December 2024. 

UNITAR is a dedicated training and capacity development institute within the United Nations system, aiming to empower individuals, governments and organizations through knowledge and learning to effective overcome contemporary global challenges and support the creation of strong multilateral relations among nations and communities worldwide.   Within the framework of the Institute, the Division for Multilateral Diplomacy supports the intergovernmental machinery and governing bodies of the United Nations by empowering delegates and diplomats. 

The appointment of Mr. Evangelista aims to support the Institute’s work in forging stronger inclusive development for marginalized populations across the globe, and integrate this inclusive focus across all training and capacity building initiatives.  Special Olympics is a global movement dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) through the transformative power of sport and related inclusive programming.  With over 6,000,000 participating athletes in 193 nations, Special Olympics is committed to highlighting the rights and abilities of one of the most marginalized population subsets globally in alignment with key international treaties such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN-CRPD).

Special Olympics Europe Eurasia

It is an honor to join UNITAR’s Advisory Board in its Division for Multilateral Diplomacy, Mr. Evangelista said. Together with the movement of Special Olympics, I stand committed to supporting UNITAR’s mission to provide critical guidance and leadership as the international community looks to address the most pressing issues affecting the world today.  One of those key issues is the urgent need for inclusive development to be prioritized among national governments, and we are honored to be a part of this collective effort.” 

In addition to his role in Special Olympics, Mr. Evangelista is a former member of the High-Level Group on Sport Diplomacy of the European Commission, a member of the Board of Directors for The Access Challenge, a member of the Advisory Committee of the Center for Sport and Human Rights and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Human Resource Management in International Organizations (AHRMIO). He is also a long-standing member of Lions Clubs International and a Lions Clubs International Foundation Progressive Melvin Jones Fellow. Mr. Evangelista has served as a guest speaker for the United Nations, the European Union, national governments, and a number of civil society organizations on issues related to inclusive development, disability, and global affairs.

We are delighted to welcome Mr. David Evangelista to the Division of Multilateral Diplomacy’s Advisory Board and are looking forward to jointly work on expanding the Division’s positive impact on its beneficiaries especially from marginalized populations in the field of multilateral diplomacy and international law in line with UNITAR's mandate and vision.

Says Mr. Rabih El-Haddad, Director of the Division for Multilateral Diplomacy at UNITAR.

UNITAR and Special Olympics

For more information, please contact


Anna Sabrina Wollmann, Training Assistant, Division for Multilateral Diplomacy



Special Olympics Europe Eurasia

Fiona Hynes, Director of Communications Special Olympics Europe Eurasia



The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) is a principal training arm of the United Nations, working in every region of the world. We empower individuals, governments and organizations through knowledge and learning to effectively overcome contemporary global challenges. UNITAR was established in 1965 as an autonomous body within the United Nations with the mandate of enhancing the effectiveness of the work of the United Nations and its Member States. Every year UNITAR’s reach extends to some 300,000 beneficiaries through face-to-face seminars and workshops, e-learning or other training-related events. (www.unitar.org)

About Special Olympics Europe Eurasia

Special Olympics in Europe Eurasia encompasses a diverse range of cultures, languages and customs traversing 58 countries in Western, Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. From Iceland to Israel, from Portugal to Russia, Special Olympics promotes respect, inclusion and human dignity for people with intellectual disabilities through sports. There are close to 543,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities in the Europe Eurasia region. The next Special Olympics World Games—World Summer Games 2023 in Berlin, Germany—will take place in the Europe Eurasia region, bringing increased awareness and support for our movement and increased visibility for our athletes and their message of inclusion.

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