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World to celebrate first ever International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

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

A special United Nations day to mark the power of sport to inform, empower and transform is to be marked around the world on Sunday 6th April.

The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace aims to promote the role of sport as a tool at the service of society and a universal tool for peace.

Created at the initiative of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and officially announced at the United Nations headquarters last August,

The adoption of this day signifies the increasing recognition by the United Nations of the positive influence that sport can have on the advancement of human rights, and social and economic development.

As described by Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace, Wilfried Lemke, sport “has the capacity to empower individuals and bring one’s moral values to the forefront” and “can play a strategic role in transferring life skills and communicating useful and encouraging messages on important issues, thus driving social change.”

This new annual event is an occasion to celebrate and promote sport as an innovative and effective tool for positive societal and individual change across the world.

Sport for Development and Peace is an opportunity to recognise the potential of sport to contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. At the same time, the Day underlines that sports can foster peace and can contribute to an atmosphere of tolerance and understanding.

Sport, as a tool for education, development and peace, can promote cooperation, solidarity, tolerance, understanding, social inclusion and health at the local, national and international levels. Its intrinsic values such as teamwork, fairness, discipline, respect for the opponent and the rules of the game are understood all over the world and can be harnessed in the advancement of solidarity, social cohesion and peaceful coexistence.

Through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) sports personalities and UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors Ronaldo Nazario, Zinédine Zidane, Didier Drogba, Iker Casillas, Marta Viera da Silva and Maria Sharapova will be backing the celebratory day.

Each of the ambassadors have agreed to give their time and their image to promote sustainable development through sports and they are now joining the United Nations and the global sports community to celebrate the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, highlighting how sport can contribute to education, health, gender equality, social inclusion, solidarity, tolerance, development and peace.

As Didier Drogba explains "the observance of the day will help spread awareness about the importance of sport as a tool to build a peaceful and better world, and to recognize the potential of sport to create positive social change across the globe. It is also an opportunity to unite and celebrate together."

Click here for more information.

Related Articles

6th February 2014 - UNWTO launches International Handbook on Tourism and Peace

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

3rd March 2011 - Basra Sport City: Southern Iraq’s Sporting ‘Peace Dividend’

23rd October 2009 - China Highlights Sport’s role in promoting world peace and development

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