ACCESSIBILITY AT UNOG A A A A The United Nations in the Heart of Europe


2 April 2014

Last August, the United Nations General Assembly adopted by consensus a resolution proclaiming 6 April as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. The objective of the proclamation is to promote the use of sport and physical activity as a tool for development and peace. The General Assembly invited all States, the United Nations system and all other relevant stakeholders to cooperate, observe and raise awareness of the Day.

“This International Day will highlight the potential of sport to advance human rights, eliminate barriers and promote global solidarity. I urge all global citizens to join this growing movement and become part of our team to harness the power of sport to build a better world for all.” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The UN Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, Mr Wilfried Lemke, is confident that this new commemoration on the international calendar will further promote the value of sport as a catalyst for development and peace.

“The power of sport is limitless. Every day, people’s lives are enriched by playing sport as it inspires team spirit, social interaction and a healthy body and mind. I challenge everyone to look for those with limited or no access to sport and try to remove the barriers that stand in the way of their participation. It is our common responsibility to make sport accessible, and I hope that, through this International Day, we can raise the awareness needed to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to experience the benefits of sport.”

Why are we celebrating this Day?
Sport, games and physical activity in general are present in virtually every society. Today, there is an increasing number of development projects around the globe that are using sport. The Day was convened by the General Assembly to recognize the increasing global awareness and the growing appreciation for sport-based development projects around the world.

Who will be celebrating this day?
The General Assembly invites all States, the United Nations system and all other relevant stakeholders to cooperate, observe and raise awareness of the Day. The United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP) is promoting five key messages for this occasion, and encourages that these messages will be spread around the world:

Ø The power of sport to respect and promote dialogue.
Ø The power of sport to enhance life skills of children and youth.
Ø The power of sport to include everyone regardless of abilities.
Ø The power of sport to advance gender equality.
Ø The power of sport to improve physical and mental health.

To mark the first observance of this International Day, the United Nations Office at Geneva, the UNOSDP, and the Permanent Missions in Geneva of the Republic of Costa Rica and the State of Qatar, Co-Chairs of the Group of Friends for Sport for Development and Peace, with the support of the Swiss Permanent Mission as well as the Canton and the Ville de Genève, will be jointly organizing an event on 4 April 2014 at the Palais des Nations. The first part of the event will consist of a High-Level Panel discussion on the power of sport as a tool to advance peace and development. The Panel discussion will be followed by a symbolic run/walk in the Ariana Park, where all participants are encouraged to actively join in raising awareness of this Day.

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Media Contact:
UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace
media.unosdp(at) / +41 (0)22 917 47 12

Mr. Wilfried Lemke, of Germany, was appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as his Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace on 11 April 2008, serving on a $1 per year salary with the rank of Under-Secretary-General. In this role, the Special Adviser aims to reach out further to the world of sport and more systematically and coherently encourage the use of sport the pursuit of development cooperation, humanitarian aid and peace-building efforts. Mr. Lemke succeeded Adolf Ogi, former President of the Swiss Confederation, who had served as Special Adviser since 2001.

For use of the information media; not an official record