Sport for Peace and Development debate to kick off in New York

The 3rd International Forum on Sport for Peace and Development will take place at the UN headquarters in New York (USA) from 5 to 6 June 2013. Jointly organised by the IOC and the UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP), with the support of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), the event will feature UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and IOC President Jacques Rogge as keynote speakers.

The IOC and the UN both have a long-standing commitment to using sport as a tool for social change and have collaborated on a wide range of projects. The Forum aims to assess the successes and challenges of past initiatives and looks at how to pave the way for future concerted action in these fields.

IOC-UN initiatives on the ground

Recent IOC initiatives include working with the World Food Programme (WFP) to distribute IOC Sports Kits, containing basic sports equipment, to over 650,000 children and young people in WFP-supported schools in 42 countries.

Watch here how the IOC and WFP worked with schoolchildren in Haiti

In Burundi, the IOC, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the government have jointly set up a multi-sport complex that attracts 10,000 young people from different ethnic groups, who use the facility to meet, talk and practise a wide range of sports. The centre is located in the border region with the Democratic Republic of Congo, an area known for tension and violence and sorely lacking in recreational infrastructure. 

Learn more about the centre and its activities here

In Namibia, the IOC and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), together with the local National Olympic Committee (NOC), teamed up to implement an ambitious three-year sport and education programme for some 8,500 young people living in the Osire refugee settlement in the centre of the country. The programme has been specifically designed to involve young people in sports activities in order to alleviate some of the major problems affecting them, namely teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections (such as HIV), and drug abuse.

Watch here how the programme is implemented in the Osire refugee camp

Another joint project with UNHCR is “Giving is Winning”, undertaken at the last three Summer Olympic Games with athletes, officials, partners and supporters donating sports clothing items that were subsequently distributed to young refugees by UNHCR. Since its inception, the campaign has collected over 170,000 items, or close to 36 containers, that have reached refugees in 23 countries.

Learn more about the campaign here

At the moment, the IOC is discussing with UNHCR on how best to deliver sports aid to Syrian refugees in both Jordan and Turkey.

Physical activity as a duty and responsibility

In anticipation of the Forum, Jacques Rogge said: “By using sport as a tool, the IOC and its partners implement various activities across the globe in fields such as humanitarian assistance, peace-building, education, gender equality, the environment and the fight against HIV/AIDS, hence contributing to the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals. The UN Observer status granted to the IOC pays tribute to these efforts and is a sign of the strong bond between the IOC and the UN, which share the same philosophy and values.” He added: “Today, physical activity is no longer a luxury; it is a duty and responsibility. The entire sports movement and its stakeholders must reinforce their collaboration in this field, while at the same time respecting each other’s space and autonomy.”

Five Forum themes

Under the theme “Creating a Common Vision”, the Forum participants will discuss the following five themes:

- Integrating and Mainstreaming Sport in Development and Peace - Moving from Communication to Organisational Objectives
- The Culture of Peace through Sport - Concrete Actions and Challenges
- Sport and Social Inclusion
- Sport and Social Development Legacies
- Capitalising on Partnerships and Networking

Click here to learn more about the programme, the speakers and other details about the event
Follow the event via live webcast on the UN website

Click here to read the full report and the resolution of the last Forum, held in Geneva in 2011
Learn more about the IOC’s activities in the field of Development through Sport
Learn more about the IOC’s activities in the field of Peace through Sport
Learn more about the IOC’s International Relations Commission
Learn more about the International Olympic Truce Foundation (IOTF)
Learn more about the UNOSDP
Learn more about the USOC

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