You are here

UN creates International Day of Sport for Development and Peace


UN creates International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

The United Nations General Assembly has approved by consensus the establishment of an international day recognising sport's role in development and peace-building.

In a historic decision, on 23 August 2013 the United Nations 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.

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, Noyak 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.”

[This article has been edited by the Operating Team.]


Article type



International Olympic Committee


Sunday, August 25, 2013 - 23:00