New York Forum closes with call for an International Day of Sport
The 3rd International Forum on Sport for Peace and Development, held at the UN headquarters in New York from 5 to 6 June 2013, closed with a declaration, including a call for the creation of a “United Nations International Day of Sport and Physical Activity”, unanimously supported by the more than 400 Forum participants.
The International Day of Sport should advocate and celebrate the UN’s contribution to education, human development, healthy lifestyles and a peaceful world, and could match major grassroots initiatives like Olympic Day, celebrated by the Olympic Movement across the globe each year on and around 23 June. However, the Forum agreed that, in order to make projects on the ground sustainable, all stakeholders must support the mainstreaming of sport into policy-making at all levels. At international level, efforts to use sport as a tool to assist in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, as well as the post-2015 agenda, must be reinforced.
Resources, infrastructure, legacies and scientific evidence needed
Other calls for action in the declaration include the need for governments to ensure that adequate financial and other resources are made available for quality physical education in primary and secondary school programmes and that it is fully integrated into formal national education curricula; the need for increased investment in the development of sports infrastructures and to provide safe and accessible public spaces for physical activity and sport; increased contextualised and adapted sport-based programmes for peace-building and violence prevention; the inclusion of social development legacies as part of planning and implementation of all sports events; and the development and strengthening of evaluation and monitoring tools on the social and economic impact of sport and more interdisciplinary research to provide scientific evidence and best practices.
Ban Ki-moon and Jacques Rogge keynote speakers at Forum
Under the theme “Creating a Common Vision”, the Forum featured many high-level speakers from the Olympic Movement, the UN system, governments, NGOs and industry, including IOC President Jacques Rogge and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as keynote speakers. Jointly organised by the IOC and the UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP), with the support of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), the event also offered the opportunity to award the UN Secretary General the Olympic Order and to officially kick off work on a permanent sports exhibition in the UN building. The exhibition will enable visitors from all over the world to better understand the role of sport in human development and the promotion of peace. The IOC and the UN have a long-standing partnership, and have collaborated on a wide range of projects that aim to support the UN Millennium Development Goals through sport.
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