International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

What is the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace?

The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) is an annual celebration of the power of sport to drive social change, community development and to foster peace and understanding.

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, has been supportive of this initiative, as it values its potential to recognise sports organisations’ role in and contribution to social change and human development.

Read the full text of the UN Resolution here

With less than six months to go until the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the IOC will this year highlight how athletes and the Olympic Movement use sport to foster peace and reconciliation, underlining the power of the Games to promote tolerance and solidarity among the participants, fans and people all over the world.

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 that can address a wide range of needs related to: education, health, social inclusion, youth development, gender equality, peace-building and sustainable development.

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.

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. It is therefore apt that this International Day emphasises the positive impact of sport and physical education at all levels from casual practice to competitive sport.

The annual IDSDP 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.