The United Nations has been using sport and play as tools in development cooperation and humanitarian aid efforts for decades.

In recent years, UN bodies – along with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), governments, development agencies and sports organizations (present at www.sportanddev.org) – have increasingly recognized and systematically harnessed the power of sport to achieve their objectives, particularly the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted in 2000, hence contributing to the emergence of the Sport for Development and Peace movement.

In 2005, the International Year of Sport and Physical Education (IYSPE 2005) provided a unique platform for the growth of the movement, initiating worldwide policy-making and thousands of field projects.

Today, a large number of UN actors mobilize the uplifting power of sport in their activities, with the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace and UNOSDP acting as entry points.

Chronolgy of the key milestones in the movement's history, seen from a UN perspective, can be found here.