What is the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace?
The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace is a day to celebrate and encourage the power of sport for social change (or community development and well-being) in all corners of the world, and 2014 has marked its first ever worldwide celebration.
In 2013, in a historic decision, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly approved by consensus a proclamation establishing this Day to take place each year on 6 April - the date of the opening of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.
Read the full text of the proclamation here
The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) builds on the work that is being carried out around the world by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), National Olympic Committees, International and National Sports Federations, sports clubs, governmental and non-governmental organisations, neighbourhood associations and all other entities and volunteers who believe in sport as a tool for social change.
The annual event offers a new opportunity to promote sport and physical activity as a universal language that can address a wide range of needs related to education, health, social inclusion, youth development, peace building and sustainable development. It also provides a notable platform to advocate among governments for more investment in sport, related infrastructure and quality physical education.
It was particularly fitting that the General Assembly chose 6 April as the date for this new International Day, creating a historical link to the first modern Olympic Games on 6 April 1896. 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 the Olympic Games as a forum to promote harmony among individuals and nations.
The annual International Day of Sport for Development and Peace is also a fitting complement to the celebration of Olympic Day, which, introduced by the IOC in 1948, commemorates the founding of the modern Olympic Movement each year on 23 June. Millions of people in countries around the world participate in a wide variety of Olympic Day activities, from sport to educational and cultural activities.
Sport cannot resolve all the world’s ills, but it can make a valuable contribution towards resolving some serious problems in modern society. The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace is thus a call to action and a significant step forward in the acceptance of sport as an innovative and effective tool for positive societal and individual change.
Visit the UN official page on the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace
Learn more about the significance of this day for all stakeholders in the Special Edition of the ICSSPE Online News which provides a collection of articles and statements on insights and perspectives of key players on the new event, and how organisations are planning to celebrate, reflect and engage on this day. Read the IOC's contribution here
More information on what is going on in the world of sport and development can be found at www.sportanddev.org