UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, Yaya Toure celebrated the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace and shared messages with his fans emphasizing on the positive influence that sport can have on the advancement of human rights, and social and economic development.
Due to its vast reach, unparalleled popularity and foundation of positive values, sport is ideally positioned to contribute towards the United Nations’ objectives for development and peace.
“Sport is a world language, for all cultures, it breaks down all the barriers and encourages solidarity. It is a good awareness raising tool and can have widespread impact. Most of all, it is a powerful tool for progress and for development,” said Toure
'On the pitch I am happy to play with everyone. Africans and Europeans, Christians and Muslims, young and old. Together we are always stronger. Our differences make us better,' he mentioned in his messages calling his fans in Central African Republic (CAR) to stop fighting.
Toure added that sport has the capacity to empower individuals and bring one’s moral values to the forefront and can play a strategic role in transferring life skills and communicating useful and encouraging messages on important issues, and driving social change. He called on world leaders to bring young role models, deprived of opportunities and a proper educational framework, to learn the importance of sport for development and peace.
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.”
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.
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