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Celebrating the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

Celebrating the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace
April 6, 2016

The United Nations' celebration of 6th April as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) is barely acknowledged in Australia and New Zealand but is widely marked in the emerging world – particularly in nations that have experienced conflict.

Explaining the significance of the day, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon states “sport is a unique and powerful tool for promoting dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of every member of the human family. It is a driving force for positive social change. That is why some of the world’s greatest sportsmen and women have been, and remain, engaged in helping the United Nations to raise awareness on important issues such as hunger, HIV-AIDS, gender equality and environmental stewardship.

“This year the world is embarking on a major new challenge – implementing the visionary 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. United Nations Member States have adopted 17 universal Sustainable Development Goals to build a future of peace, justice, dignity and opportunity for all. Together, they provide a set of integrated and indivisible priorities for people, planet, prosperity, partnership and peace.

“To reach these global goals, we must engage all sectors of society, everywhere. Sport has an essential role to play. Sport promotes health and well-being. It fosters tolerance, mutual understanding and peace. It contributes to social inclusion and equality. It empowers women and girls and persons with disabilities. It is a vital part of quality education in schools. It empowers, inspires and unites.

“On this third International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, I urge Governments, organisations, businesses, and all actors in society to harness the values and power of sport to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. By working - and playing - together, we can create the future we want.”

IDSDP gives everyone a reason to join in, celebrate and highlight the role of sport in global development, with sport, games and activities creating a safe arena for children to meet and interact.

Games create common ground and a sense of equality, levelling the playing field by breaking down social barriers, promoting teamwork and creating acceptance around differences like gender, race and religion. It helps kids put their differences behind them. It enables boys and girls to play together.

Most importantly, it provides the opportunity to teach new behaviours.

In promoting IDSDP, the United Nations has the following objectives:

• The United Nations treats sport as a tool for mental development among people
• The UN General Assembly aims at the advancement of human rights and social and economic development
• The organisation believes that sport is the sole agent that can help mankind achieve global harmony and brotherhood.

For more information go to

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13th October 2015 - Sport included in United Nations development goals

3rd September 2015 - United Nations initiative to nurture sport leaders in developing nations

6th April 2015 - Sport has the power to help develop the potential of individuals, communities and nations

4th April 2014 - World to celebrate first ever International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

15th October 2013 - World class coaches and athletes to share their experiences online

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