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World of sport celebrates International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

By Tom Walker    06 Apr 2018

A number of activities and campaigns are taking place across the world today as part of the fifth International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.

Launched in 2013 by the United Nations General Assembly, the event aims to raise awareness about the contribution of sport and physical activity to education, human development, healthy lifestyles and peace.

To see an interactive map of the day's activities, click here.

To mark the day, the United Nations' Department of Economic and Social Affairs is launching an online campaign to celebrate the growing contribution of sport to development and peace.

The online campaign – #PlayforGlobalGoals – seeks to encourage individuals and organisations who support or carry out sport for development and peace activities to participate in the commemoration of the International Day.

Specifically, it invites individuals and organisations to share a picture on social media that represents for them the “power of sport to promote peace, unity and social inclusion”.

The campaign will contribute to building unity among nations and peoples, following the UN Secretary-General’s call to make 2018 “a year for unity.”

The campaign will focus especially on sport’s contribution to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 10 on reducing inequalities by promoting initiatives that include vulnerable groups, such as older persons and persons with disabilities.

As well as UN-led initiatives, a number of sports governing bodies and associations – both national and global – are taking part in activities today.

Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), said sport has a unique ability to be a vehicle for "bridge-building and reconciliation" on the global stage.

“The power of sport is its universality, it always builds bridges, it never erects walls," Bach said, before referencing the way the recent Pyeongchang Winter Olympics – and the unified Korean Women's ice hockey team – helped bring calm to the escalating crisis on the Korean peninsula.

"Sport has played a fundamental role in creating a bridge between North and South Korea,” Bach added.

“The Olympic Games showed the world how to compete peacefully. They showed us that, despite all our differences, it is possible for humankind to live together in peace, respect and harmony.”

Meanwhile, football’s world governing body, FIFA, is promoting the day across its social media channels, as well as highlighting the development and sustainability projects it carries out with its 211 member associations.

According to FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura, the federation is keen to showcase the positive role that football plays in promoting education, human development and peace.

"At FIFA, we are committed to working in partnership with organisations at all levels – including governments, NGOs and the entire football community – to try and harness the power of football and use it as a tool for positive social development and change," Samoura said.

“Through our flagship development programme – FIFA Forward – as well as our ongoing work in sustainability, diversity and anti-discrimination, FIFA is continuing to play an active and significant role in bringing the game to more people around the world, as well as ensuring that football continues to make an active contribution to sustainable development, education and peace in society.”

To find out more about the day – and to see an interactive map of the activities taking place during the day – click here for the official 6 April website.

United Nations  International Day of Sport for Development and Peace  International Olympic Committee  IOC  FIFA 
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