A message from the CYSDP Network to policy makers in commemoration of IDSDP 2017
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The CYSDP outlines its collaborative mission advocating for sport for development and peace.

In societies across the Commonwealth, sport is a field of dreams and a force of remarkable positive change. Sport is recognised as an important enabler of sustainable development and by its contribution towards empowerment of young people, individuals and communities in achieving social inclusion objectives. It is therefore in our best interest as young leaders, that we make every effort to harness this power.

The Commonwealth Youth Sport for Development and Peace (CYSDP) Network is committed to its mission to “advocate, educate and demonstrate” best practices in sport for development and peace (SDP) throughout the Commonwealth. In this new era of the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, the CYSDP Network continues to support the work of sport organisations, civil societies and governments to use sport-based approaches to make effective and cost-efficient contributions to specific sustainable developmental goals (SDGs).

CYSDP advocates for the use of sport to:

  • Ensure good health and well-being for all (Goal 3)
  • Ensure quality education (Goal 4)
  • Achieve gender equality (Goal 5)
  • Promote decent work and sustainable economic growth (Goal 8)
  • Make sustainable cities and communities (Goal 11)
  • Promote peace, justice and strong institutions at all levels (Goal 16)
  • Strengthen partnerships for sustainable development (Goal 17)

Through continuous research, CYSDP recognises that there are varying contexts, types of young people, challenges, resources available and capabilities to deliver sustainable sport for development and peace programmes. Youth-led groups have expressed the need for more opportunities to connect, exchange ideas, develop creative solutions to problems and strategise on obtaining recourses to support their programmes. The impact of young people is underpinned by our positioning as change agents, thought leaders and social influencers. We, the young people are the leaders of local, national, regional and global partnerships working to make the sustainable development goals a reality.

It is time that governments bring youths closer to decision-making processes that affect youth development, especially as the world is home to more young people today than ever before with 1.8 billion people between the ages of 15 and 29.

As we celebrate the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace 2017 on 6 April, CYSDP calls for:

  1. Governments to consider establishing roles and responsibilities for youth leaders in youth development policy and programme design, including dedicated positions on decision-making bodies
  2. Governments to consider creating platforms to open conversations on sport and sustainable development with young athletes coaches and officials, to discuss the true value of sport for young people and to advocate for a rights-based approach to sport at the most elite level

The CYSDP Network remains committed to collaborating with governments toward ensuring sport is used in the right context to make a positive and sustainable impact on the lives of young people, by providing resources, youth engagement strategies and programmes to enhance youth-involvement in decision making practices.