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United Nations Secretary-General highlights power of sport for an inclusive and sustainable future

United Nations Secretary-General highlights power of sport for an inclusive and sustainable future
April 9, 2021

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has this week all involved in the sport sector to help advance climate action, combat discrimination and prejudice, and ensure that global sporting events leave a positive legacy.

In a message commemorating International Day of Sport for Development and Peace on 6th April, Secretary-General Guterres highlighted the power of sport to bring people together, promote healthy lifestyles, and contribute to inclusive and sustainable development.

He stated “those involved in sport also have responsibilities: to reduce its environmental footprint; to meet international labour standards; to fight discrimination and prejudice of all kinds; to reject corruption; and to ensure that major global events such as the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, which bring the world together, leave a positive legacy.”

Noting that while the COVID-19 pandemic brought new challenges to the sector, sport can contribute to a “safe and sustainable recovery”, Secretary-General Guterres went on to say “workers, fans and athletes have felt the pain of absence, of lost revenue and of dreams deferred.

“But many competitions and leagues have found new ways to create opportunities for community and joy despite the crisis … as vaccines spread hope and spectators begin to return to arenas, the world of sport has crucial contributions to make in forging a safe and sustainable recovery”, he said.

Secretary-General Guterres added that the UN looks forward to continuing to work with sportspeople and organisations around the world to advance climate action and to promote peace, human rights and sustainable development, commenting “we will play and cheer again when everyone is safe from the pandemic.”

The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, commemorated annually on 6th April, was established by the United Nations General Assembly in August 2013 to highlight the importance of sport for promoting peaceful societies and healthy lifestyles.

This year, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the International Day was marked mainly through online and social media events, around the theme of recovery from the pandemic, and the need to build back better for a more resilient and equitable world.

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