The Princess Charlene Rally – Sport as a means for social change

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

Former IOC Pt Jacques Rogge, Pt of UN GA Vuk Jeremic and Serbian PTP and Peace and Sport Champion for Peace Novak Djokovic,April 6, 2014 will mark the first ever, worldwide celebration of The International Day of Sport for  and Peace, as a way to promote the power of sport for social change in all corners of the world. In 2013 the United Nations General Assembly approved by consensus a proclamation establishing this Day to take place each on April 6 – the date of the opening of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. On the photo Former IOC President Jacques Rogge, President of the United Nations General Assembly Vuk Jeremic and Serbian professional tennis player and Peace and Sport Champion for Peace Novak Djokovic, following the UN’s decision to declare April 6 as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.

The Princess Charlene Rally in Monaco

As part of the events surrounding this celebration this Friday, April 4 during the morning 400 students from the Charles III and Francis of Assisi-Nicolas Barre colleges and the Technical and Hotel school of Monaco gathered at Larvotto to participate in the Rally Princess Charlene of Monaco, organized by the Direction of National Education, Youth and Sports, in partnership with the Princess Charlene Foundation and “Peace and Sports”. In parallel to the competition, representatives of the organization “Peace and Sports” gave a presentation to create awareness among the students about sport as an instrument to the service of development of peace. The best three groups from the three schools received Gold and Bronze medals from Mr Paul Masseron, Minister of Interior, Mrs Isabelle Bonnal, Director of National Education, Youth and Sports, as well as representatives from the Princess Charlene Foundation and Peace and Sport. In the afternoon students from other classes participated in an athletics event in the Stade Louis II.

Among the top level athletes, named as “Peace Champions”, that also took part of the manifestation sharing their experiences with the adolescents, were Paula Radcliffe (athletics), Pierre Frola (diving), Pernilla Wiberg (ski), Thomas Johannson (tennis) and Kaven Mehrabi (badminton). The best moments of this sportive morning as well as the different events throughout the world where the Peace Champions of “Peace and Sports” participate are grouped in the site

For the celebration on Sunday, April 6, of the first International Day of Sport for the Development of Peace, the association Peace and Sport has already counted more than 220 initiatives organized around the world in more than 50 countries. Under the support of the United Nations (UN) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), this day is on line with the values of Peace and Sport, allowing a contribution of sport and physical activity to education for the development of sustainable peace.

Sport serves an important role in society

Sport has historically played an important part in all societies, be it in the form of competitive sport, physical activity or play. Sport and play are human rights that must be respected and enforced worldwide; sport has been increasingly recognized and used as a low-cost and high-impact tool in humanitarian, development and peace-building efforts, not only by the UN system but also by non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), governments, sports federations, armed forces and the media. Sport is an important investment in the present and future, particularly in developing countries, not a luxury for the elites. The UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Sort for Development and Peace defined sport as “all forms of physical activity that contribute to physical fitness, mental well-being and social interaction, such as play, recreation, organized or competitive sport, and indigenous sports and games.” UNESCO described sport and physical education as a “fundamental right for all”. Sport plays a significant role to enhance social integration and economic development in different geographical, cultural and political contexts. Sport is a potent means to fortify social ties and networks, and to inspire ideals of peace, fraternity, compassion, non-violence, justice, tolerance and fairness.Sport is mainly about participation, inclusion and nationalism and has a unique power to attract, motivate and promote action. It stands for human values such as respect for the opponent, acceptance and binding rules, teamwork and impartiality, all principles also contained in the Charter of the United Nations.

Benefits of Sports

  • Individual development
  • Health promotion and disease prevention
  • Promotion of gender equality
  • Social integration and the development of social capital
  • Peace building and conflict prevention/resolution
  • Post-disaster/trauma relief and normalization of life
  • Economic development
  • Communication and social mobilization.

According to Wilfried Lemke, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General on Sport for Development and Peace: “This new commemoration on the international calendar will further promote the value of sport as a catalyst for development and peace.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon ‘s Message for 2014

This year we celebrate the first-ever International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. 
We at the United Nations know that sport is a universal language, uniting groups and nations across divides.

Sport empowers youth, promotes good health and deepens UN values such as equality, mutual respect and fair play.

Sport helps us in spreading messages of peace, driving social change and meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

This International Day will highlight the potential of sport to advance human rights, eliminate barriers and promote global solidarity.

To reach our goals, we need all players on the field:  governments, international organizations, the sport sector, civil society, and many others.

I urge all global citizens to join this growing movement and become part of our  team to harness the power of sport to build a better world for all.

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