International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

In August 2013, the UN General Assembly made the decision to proclaim 6 April as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.

UNESCO is the United Nations’ lead agency for Physical Education and Sport (PES). UNESCO believes that sport is a powerful vehicle for social inclusion, gender equality and youth empowerment, with benefits that are felt far beyond the stadiums. Indeed, the values acquired in and through sport – such as fair play and a team spirit – are invaluable to the whole of society.

Why sport?

Sport has historically played an important role in all societies, be it in the form of competitive sport, physical activity or play. But one may wonder: what does sport have to do with the United Nations? In fact, sport presents a natural partnership for the United Nations (UN) system:

  • sport and play are human rights that must be respected and enforced worldwide;
  • sport has been increasingly recognized and used as a low-cost and high-impact tool in humanitarian, development and peace-building efforts, not only by the UN system but also by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), governments, development agencies, sports federations, armed forces and the media.

Sport can no longer be considered a luxury within any society but is rather an important investment in the present and future, particularly in developing countries.

As the world takes forward the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we must do everything to support sport to leave no one behind. This is the spirit driving International Charter for Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport, to ensure respect for the fundamental right to sport for every woman and man without discrimination. This same spirit inspires the work of volunteers across the world, dedicated to supporting sport for development and peace, whose work we commend today.


Gonurov Berdinyyaz,

the 1st year student of faculty of
International economic relations of
the Institute of International Relations
of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan.


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