“Peace Through Sport” campaign launched in Jordan
Sport is more than competition. Sport can promote mutual understanding, and facilitate dialogue between different communities. Last week a “Peace Through Sport” campaign was officially launched in Amman (Jordan). Supported by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the United Nations (UN), this programme is the brainchild of HRH Prince Faisal bin Al-Hussein, who as President of the Jordan Olympic Committee, recognises the increasingly important role played by sport in providing stability and social cohesion in the life of young people in the region.
Instil dialogue and tolerance through sport
This new global initiative aims to use sport as a means to help instil dialogue, tolerance and ultimately peace among young people in areas experiencing conflict and hostility.
“Peace Through Sport” will identify and bring together leaders of young people from divided communities around the world and train them to provide organised sport for young people as a way of helping to heal divides. Among programmes which will be developed is a “Peace Through Sport” Summer Camp to be held in September 2007 in Jordan, bringing together leaders of young people, children, athletes, Paralympic athletes, coaches, sports officials and administrators from countries in conflict. This Camp will provide the participants with the practical sporting tools to bring children from divided communities together in a structured and enjoyable environment.
A promising initiative
Conveying the IOC President’s regards and utmost support for this initiative, IOC member Toni Khoury recalled that “Sport is love, tolerance, respect and unity. The Olympic Charter and Olympic ideals encourage us to resist all forms of violence, racism and apartheid and to turn to dialogue and to apply the Olympic Truce not only during the Games but throughout our sporting lives.” The Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary General on Sports for Development and Peace, Adolf Ogi, said in a goodwill message: “Peace Through Sport” is a promising initiative which represents a crucial effort in ensuring peace and stability in the region. I look forward to continued involvement in the promotion of ‘Peace Through Sport’ in the Middle East and around the world.”
“Peace Through Sport” Advisory Board
An Advisory Board of internationally renowned sporting and academic experts, in addition to IOC members, will guide the whole initiative under the leadership of Prince Faisal. The first members of the Board are: IOC members Philip Craven (also President of the International Paralympic Committee), Rania Elwani, Nawal El Moutawakel and Craig Reedie, as well as Donna de Varona, Olympian and member of the IOC Women and Sport Commission.