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UN creates International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

The IOC President said that the "true worth of sport is determined not by words on paper, but by how sport is practised"
New York, USA, August 23, 2013 - In a historic decision, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly approved by consensus a proclamation establishing an International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. The Day will be celebrated each year on 6 April, the date of the opening of the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896, by UN member states and other stakeholders. In this context, the General Assembly recalled the IOC’s role in promoting healthy lifestyles and creating access to sport for as many people as possible.

Read the full text of the proclamation here.

The IOC and the UN both have a long-standing commitment to using sport as a tool for social change, and have worked together on a wide range of projects, including the organisation of a joint biennial International Forum on Sport for Peace and Development. Since 2009, the IOC has also held UN observer status. Alongside the world’s current number one tennis player, Novak Djokovic, IOC President Jacques Rogge was in New York today to address the General Assembly after the important decision had been taken.

He said: “The true worth of sport is determined not by words on paper, but by how sport is practised. Stripped of its values, sport is combat by another name. Sport with values is a gateway to cultural understanding, education, health and economic and social development. We have seen the true worth of sport and physical activity many times. It helps young people learn the value of self-discipline and goal-setting. It builds self-confidence. It defies gender stereotypes. It provides an alternative to conflict and delinquency. It can bring hope and a sense of purpose to refugees, impoverished communities and other people in need. It helps keep young people in school, it brings health.”

The FIVB has worked a lot with the UN by working in UN Refugee Camps while also having signed a Global Partnership for Development agreement.

The annual International Day of Sport for Development and Peace will also be a fitting complement to the celebration of Olympic Day, which commemorates the founding of the modern Olympic Movement each year on 23 June. Millions of people in countries around the world participate in a wide variety of Olympic Day activities, from 10-kilometre runs, to group exercise sessions, tricycle races and educational and cultural activities.

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