MINUSTAH Scoring Goals for Peace at Football Friendly Match in Haiti22 October 2011
match for peace © UN/MINUSTAH
Port-au-Prince (UN MINUSTAH) — The field "Land of Gabions" is the scene of an unusual football match: this is a friendly meeting between two teams which is a bit special, as they compete with one objective in mind: scoring goals for peace. The match between the team of the President of the Republic, Joseph Michel Martelly, and that of the United Nations Mission for Stabilization in Haiti (MINUSTAH). Organized at the initiative of NGOs Project Peace Latin America and Haiti Youth Development and Education, the meeting aims to promote sport as a vehicle for peace and tolerance in Haiti.
The president’s team, dressed in white, was made up of former national soccer stars. The MINUSTAH team, in yellow and blue, was made up of the best amateur players from within the Mission and included many Haitian nationals. Spectators from all walks of life, including a D.J., filled the stadium to watch the match. After a 90 minute battle, under the watchful eye of referee Bo Beret, the MINUSTAH team emerged as the winner.
Although the win was a huge accomplishment for the amateur MINUSTAH team, the real success was in the culmination of the event that allowed the Haitian presidency together with MINUSTAH staff to promote a common theme – using sport to promote peace.
Carlos Marcelin, captain of the opposition and Technical Director of the Haitian Football Federation (FHF) said, "the game was an excellent initiative, and symbolic of the country’s partnership with the international community who are working together to create stability in the country".
Dimitri Narcisse, trainer of the MINUSTAH team, echoed these sentiments, and acknowledged and thanked the high-level participants of the presidential team. Jean Gabriel Fortuné, who represented the local authorities, noted the importance of spreading the message of peace in Haiti.
Bibi Nunez, Director of Project Peace Latin America underscored the importance of the match to promote peace, team work and discipline in the Haitian community; key messages of the "A Goal for Cayes" campaign, which uses soccer as a platform for development with young people.
The "A Goal for Cayes" initiative is carried out along the vision of the UN Secretary-General, for whom "sport is an important tool to help the United Nations achieve its objectives, and in particular, the Millennium Develpment Goals."
In October of last year, the Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, Wilfried Lemke, paid a visit to Port-au-Prince where he had the opportunity to meet several national sports figures and engage them in the idea of using sport for peace.