Sports Services

World Day of Sport for Development and Peace

The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

Why Sports?

In August 2013, the United Nations General Assembly declared April 6 as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. Sport has proven to be a flexible and cost-effective tool for achieving the objectives of peace and development. In the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, sports play a significant role in driving societal progress. Sports are recognized as a vital empowering element for sustainable development, acknowledging its growing contribution to fostering tolerance, respect, empowering women, youth, individuals, and communities, and achieving desired goals in the areas of health, education, and social integration.

Throughout history, sports have played a crucial role in all societies, whether in competitive sports, physical activity, or play. But we may wonder: What is the connection between sports and the United Nations? In reality, sports represent a natural partnership for the United Nations system for several important reasons. Sports and play are a human right that must be respected and implemented worldwide. Increasingly, sports have been recognized and used as a low-cost, high-impact tool in humanitarian aid, development efforts, peace-building, not only within the United Nations system but also within non-governmental organizations, governments, development agencies, sports federations, armed forces, and the media. It is no longer possible to consider sports as a mere leisure activity; instead, it is a powerful force for positive change and global cooperation.

Sports and Development

Sports have proven to be a cost-effective and flexible tool in promoting the goals of peace and development. As a universal language, sports can serve as a powerful tool for enhancing peace, tolerance, and understanding by bringing people together and transcending boundaries, cultures, races, and religions. Core sporting values such as teamwork, fairness, discipline, respect for competitors, and adherence to game rules are universally understood and appreciated, making them instrumental in promoting solidarity, social cohesion, peaceful coexistence, and unity among all people.

Sports play a crucial role in fostering physical well-being, social empowerment, equality, and social inclusion, particularly for marginalized groups. It is a factor in promoting physical safety, social empowerment, equality, and serves as a means of social integration, especially for the most deprived segments of society. Sports are a powerful and effective means of promoting and spreading shared human values, including solidarity, responsibility, respect, integrity, teamwork, equality, initiative, pride, and self-esteem. Sports enable the integration of everyone into society, including refugees, migrants, and the homeless, contributing significantly to establishing the foundations of peace and strengthening communities.

Sports possess a unique attracting power that brings people together, unifies them, and inspires them. Sports play a vital role as a catalyst for social cohesion and economic development in various geographical, cultural, and political environments. Therefore, sports are a powerful tool for enhancing social bonds, promoting the high ideals of peace, brotherhood, solidarity, non-violence, tolerance, and justice.

The Important Roles of Sports

  1. Individual Development.
  2. Promotion of Health and Disease Prevention.
  3. Promotion of Gender Equality.
  4. Social Solidarity and Development of Social Capital.
  5. Peacebuilding, Conflict Prevention, and Resolution.
  6. Relief After Disasters and Shocks, and Restoring Normalcy.
  7. Economic Growth.
  8. Communication and Social Mobilization.

The Role of Athletes

As athletes, we must exert our utmost effort to support sports and contribute to making it accessible to everyone. This is to ensure that no one is left behind in the global efforts to implement the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. This motivation is essential to guarantee that all people, regardless of gender, enjoy their fundamental right to engage in sports without discrimination. It also inspires dedicated volunteers advocating for utilizing sports to achieve development and spread peace worldwide. These volunteers deserve respect and appreciation for their work, even though sports still face numerous challenges, such as fanaticism, racism, hatred, and violence during sporting events.

Sports organizations, administrators, players, and fans must do everything in their power to combat these issues and harness the positive power inherent in sports to the fullest extent. Corruption also affects sports, as it does in other areas. Corruption kills sports, and there should be zero tolerance for malpractice in sports, including doping. Our role is to continue fighting misconduct, encourage the adoption of proper governance, integrity, and transparency. We should also strive to align all sports organizations with the Sustainable Development Goals.


Despite these challenges, the immense positive power inherent in sports and the overwhelming passion for it will continue to unify people. The tremendous enthusiasm for sports will persist, working to make the world more inclusive for everyone and more peaceful through the universal values and principles it embodies. Historically, sports have played a significant role in all societies, serving as a powerful communication platform that can be utilized to promote a culture of peace. Sports are and will remain one of the most cost-effective and versatile tools for promoting the values of the United Nations and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.