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While Sport for Development and Peace is still widely seen as an emerging field in the area of development, its antecedents can be traced back to antiquity when the Olympic Truce was first used to establish temporary peace between warring states, to allow for competition by their athletes. However, recognition by the United Nations of the value of sport with regard to development and peace is far more recent.

In April 2011, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the mandate of Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace, Wilfried Lemke officially called upon “UN Member States, UN entities, sports organizations, international and civil society organisations, the academia, the private sector and the media to work in close partnership [...]." Recalling the history of the Sport for Development and Peace movement, he pointed out a “remarkable acceleration over the past decade with regard to recognizing and harnessing the transformative power of sport and physical education, in particular within the UN system.” He continued: “As demonstrated by major policy developments, by increasing media attention, and by a growing number of specialized projects, organizations, research, and corporate social responsibility practices, Sport for Development and Peace has grown into a strong movement and has hopefully reached a point of no return.”

Click here for a comprehensive chronology of the key milestones
in the history of the SDP movement, from a UN perspective


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