The United Nations today lifted the curtain on a new website showcasing the transformative power of sport in furthering peace and creating positive social change around the world.
The power of sport is increasingly being recognized as a low-cost and high-impact means to promote humanitarian and peacebuilding efforts, as well as to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the eight economic and social targets with a 2015 deadline, according to the world body.
Cooperation is a fundamental component of sport, which stands for human values such as respect, acceptance of rules, teamwork and fairness, all principles laid out in the UN Charter. In 1978, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) labelled sport and physical education as a “fundamental right for all.”
The new website showcases the UN’s efforts to harness the power of sport to promote its ideals, including the age-old Olympic Truce called for before the start of this year’s Vancouver Games, urging warring parties to lay down their arms as the Games’ ancient Greek founders did some 2,700 years ago.
Wilfried Lemke, the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace, said today that the new site is “a great step towards greater coordination, knowledge-sharing and partnerships,” in both the UN and beyond.
The world body has long championed the potential of support to achieve its objectives, and “it is now time to further strengthen this momentum and make sure that we all speak the same language – the language of sport and play,” he stressed.