Yesterday, in New York, the third edition of the ‘International Forum on Sport for Peace and Development’ commenced. The forum will look to highlight the successes and challenges of using sport as a tool for social development and peace promotion, and will propose more advanced and systematic ways to integrate sport in development and peace policy.
“Creating a common vision”
Jointly organized by the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP), the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and supported by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), the forum will take place under the motto “Creating a common vision”.
Participants include representatives from the world of sport, the UN, national governments, expert organizations and universities. Among the speakers are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, IOC President Dr Jacques Rogge, the Rt Honourable Hugh Robertson Minister of State for Sport and Tourism, Government of the United Kingdom, Sir Philip Craven President of the International Paralympic Committee, HE Mr Aldo Rebelo, Minister for Sport Federal Government of Brazil, Ms Debbie Lye International Development Director UK Sport, and Mr José Quiñones President of the Peruvian National Olympic Committee.
Opening speech of Ban Ki-moon
In attendance of the forum, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon provided the opening speech that highlighted the importance of the need to mainstream sport in development and peace-building activities. He also reiterated the Olympic Truce message, and the importance in the undertaking of initiatives to ensure weapons remain silent during this special time.
The importance of exchange between actors
UN Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, Mr. Wilfried Lemke will make a keynote address during the first session on Integrating and mainstreaming Sport for Development and Peace. The UN Special Adviser highlights the great importance of the UN-IOC Forum:
“Over the next two days there will be valuable exchanges of dialogue between a selection of different stakeholders, who all strive for similar goals. Development and conflict resolution through sport is a hot topic for many development agencies, and this environment allows those representatives to create the required networks for positive action to be taken in the implementation of the relevant policies and strategies at the National and International level.”