Due to its vast reach, unparalleled popularity and foundation of positive values, sport is ideally positioned to contribute towards the United Nations’ objectives for development and peace. To raise awareness of this potential, 6 April was declared as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) by the UN General Assembly. 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.
In its Resolution (A/RES/67/296) establishing the Day, the General Assembly “invites States, the United Nations system and, in particular, the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace, relevant international organizations, and international, regional and national sport organisations, civil society including, non-governmental organizations and the private sector, and all other relevant stakeholders to cooperate, observe and raise awareness of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commemorates the first International Day of Sport for Development and Peace
“Sport has become a world language, a common denominator that breaks down all the walls, all the barriers. It is a worldwide industry whose practices can have widespread impact. Most of all, it is a powerful tool for progress and for development.”
– Ban Ki-moon
In the words of the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace, Mr. 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 commemoration on the international calendar will further promote the value of sport as a catalyst for development and peace.”
The inaugural International Day of Sport for Development and Peace
Expert High-level Panel Discussion and Symbolic Run/Walk at the Palais des Nations in Geneva
On 4 April 2014, UNOSDP together with the UN Office at Geneva and the Group of Friends of Sport for Development and Peace is hosting a high-level panel discussion, inviting key stakeholders to share their views about the value and use of sport for social change. The roundtable discussion will be followed by a symbolic run/walk around the Palais des Nations, where all participants are encouraged to join the panellists in raising awareness of this celebratory day.
The following five key messages will be promoted for the occasion of the International Day celebrations at the Palais des Nations:
Do you want to join us? Please send an email indicating your participation in the panel and/or the run/walk to firstname.lastname@example.org . Do not forget to indicate your full name and if you are in the possession of a UN badge. For more information click here.
Sportanddev.org offers a space for individuals and organisations to learn more about the history behind the day, get advice on organizing an IDSDP campaign, and share with the community their plans for the day. Click here to find out more from Sportanddev.org
Peace and Sport launched an online platform to map all actions globally taking place regarding the IDSDP. Everyone can access the platform and register their events. Click here to find out more from Peace and Sport
In acknowledgement of the upcoming IDSDP, the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE) has published a Special News Edition on the topic. This Special Edition features a Foreword by the Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace, Mr. Wilfried Lemke, and twenty contributions from organizations around the world participating in the SDP movement, as well as celebrations of IDSDP. Click here for the ICSSPE Special News on the IDSDP