International Day of
Sport for Development
and Peace

PyeongChang 2018
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Celebrated on 6 April, the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) is an opportunity to showcase the role of sport to drive social change and community development, and to foster peace and understanding

This year, the IDSDP is providing a moment to reflect on how sport and the Olympic Games have brought people together throughout the years, building bridges and fostering understanding.

“In our fragile world, where division, conflict and mistrust are on the rise, we show the world: yes, it is possible to be fierce rivals, while at the same time living peacefully and respectfully together. Give peace a chance.” said IOC President Bach at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games.

“This is the mission of the Olympic Games: bringing us together in peaceful competition. Always building bridges, never erecting walls. Uniting humankind in all our diversity.” 

The origin of the IDSDP

Creating 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, and has been celebrated each year since 2014.

The IOC, in its capacity of Permanent Observer to the UN, proposed and supported this initiative, as it values its potential to recognise sports organisations’ role in and contribution to social change and human development. More specifically, it is an opportunity for the IOC to highlight how athletes and the Olympic Movement use sport to foster peace, reconciliation and development, and underline the power of the Olympic Games to promote tolerance and solidarity among the participants, fans and people all over the world.

Read the full text of the UN Resolution here

Sport as a universal tool for development

In 2015, in a historic moment for sport and the Olympic Movement, sport was officially recognised as an “important enabler” of sustainable development and included in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. In this context, the IDSDP provides a notable platform to advocate more investment in sport, related infrastructure and quality physical education for youth among governments.

This Day offers a new opportunity to promote sport and physical activity as a cost-effective and meaningful tool to address a wide range of needs related to: education, health, social inclusion, youth development, gender equality, peace-building and sustainable development.

Using sport to promote development and peace has been at the core of the IOC’s mission since its creation in 1894. Pierre de Coubertin, the IOC’s founder, was explicit in his desire to use Olympism as a means to promote harmony among individuals and nations, at all levels from casual practice to competitive sport.

It is also an opportunity to showcase all ways that the IOC, National Olympic Committees, International and National Sports Federations, sports clubs, governmental and non-governmental organisations, neighbourhood associations and all other entities and volunteers use sport for the betterment of humanity.

More information

IDSDP website of the United Nations

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