International Day of Sport for Development and Peace
International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) is an annual celebration that takes place on 6th April every year. The day recognizes the importance of sports as a tool in promoting peace and development, as has historically been seen through events such as the Olympic Games. It also contributes to the empowerment of margnalized communities, aiding in health, education, and social inclusion.
The day signify 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. It bring together nations through sport and athletics. The U.N. recognizes “human solidarity” as one of the core pillars of international relations around the world. Further, this day for development and peace highlights the connections formed through sport.
Sport is a tool that can help protect children and young people from committing criminal activities. Not only does sport promote rights for the development of children and youth both physically and mentally, but it also plays an important role in encouraging cognitive development and positive behavioral changes.
The theme for IDSDP 2022 is, “Securing a Sustainable and Peaceful Future for All: The Contribution of Sport.” It promote the use of sports as a tool to advance human rights and sustainable development.
The relationship between sport and peace was first identified in Ancient Greece when warring nation states would lay down their arms to take part in a sporting contest. Quite often the honour of a nation was earned by victory on the sports field rather than the battle field. It is all more complex these days – unsettled societies face challenges posed by war, famine, disease, poverty, natural disaster and many other issues. Sport does however remain a powerful tool for good.
Sport was introduced in the UN agenda in 1993 and the General Assembly resolution on the observance of the Olympic Truce was the first resolution to be co-sponsored by the Principality. U.N. leaders created the U.N. International Day of Sport for Development and Peace on 23 August 2013 as a way to spotlight the unity that sports can bring to people globally. Creating a a historical link to the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, 6 April was declared the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 2013. The first observance of the day, in April 2014, included 92 countries with various projects that represented 40 different sports, including soccer, basketball and rugby.
The next four years of the celebration saw an increase in the number of countries involved. In fact, those participating more than doubled between 2016 and 2017. Today, 6 April, was selected in commemoration of the first modern Olympic Games (which were opened on 6 April 1896 in Athens).
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.”
- Individual development
- Health promotion and disease prevention
- The promotion of gender equality
- Social integration and the development of social capital
- Peace building and conflict prevention/resolution
- Post-disaster/trauma relief and normalisation of life
- Economic development
- Communication and social mobilisation
Objectives of IDSDP
- Promote sport (and physical activities more generally) as a universal language, and as a unique tool for education, for youth development, and for achieving broader peace building objectives;
- Promote quality physical education for all children and youth;
- Recognise the various initiatives being carried out by the International Olympic Committee and Olympic Movement concerning Sport for Peace and Development;
- And, advocate the importance of investing in sport (e.g. developing infrastructures and granting accessibility to grassroots sport programmes).
To celebrate this momentous day, the International Olympic Commitee (and various National Olympic Committees) have taken the opportunity to showcase how they, and their various affiliate organisations, use sport as a catalyst for peace and development. On this day you can do your part by spreading the word among all your friends so that they can get involved in the campaign too. Post the photo on the April6 Facebook page (tagging yourself if you want it to appear on your profile) with the comment: ‘Play your Peace on @April6!’
Sport is for everyone – regardless of colour, creed, religion, sexual orientation or anything else. There is no greater force for good, so let’s celebrate the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace and let it mark the start of a renewed effort to get as many people active as possible.
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