Hnexpress Partha Roy, Kolkata : International Day of Sport For Development And Peace (IDSDP) is being observed globally on 6th April 2019. In 2013 on August 23, United Nations proclaimed that International Day of Sport for Development and Peace would be celebrated on April 6 every year. It marks the opening of the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in Greece on April 6, 1896.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) and UN have used sport as tool for social change and development.
Mega sporting events like Olympic Games, World Cup for Football and other sports are being used to build bridges of cultural understanding , improve education, health, economic and social development. IDSDP promotes healthy lifestyle.
It emphasises IOC’s focus to give access to sport to as many people as possible. UNESCO described sport and physical education as a “fundamental right to all” in 1978. But until today, the right to play and sport has not been properly implemented in every nation. Sport as a universal language can be a powerful tool to promote peace, tolerance and understanding by bringing people together across boundaries, cultures and religions. Its intrinsic values such as teamwork, fairness, discipline, respect for the opponent and the rules of the game are understood all over the world and can be harnessed in the advancement of solidarity, social cohesion and peaceful coexistence.
Sport programmes permit encounters on neutral territory and in an environment where aggression can be controlled, regulated and transformed and hence facilitates rapprochement and reconciliation between opposing parties. Sport support 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
Since the inception of the MDGs in 2000, sport has played a vital role in enhancing each of the eight goals, a fact which has been recognised in numerous Resolutions of the UN General Assembly. In the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of UN ,acknowledging sport’s role for social progress , it is declared : “Sport is also an important enabler of sustainable development.
We recognise the growing contribution of sport to the realisation of development and peace in its promotion of tolerance and respect and the contributions it makes to the empowerment of women and of young people, individuals and communities as well as to health, education and social inclusion objectives.”
Photo Courtesy : United Nations, UNESCO.