The world celebrated first ever International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

02 May 2014

Sports personalities and UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors Marta, Maria Sharapova, Didier Drogba, Iker Casillas, Ronaldo and Zinédine Zidane unite to join the celebration.


Photo: Dalia Khamissy/UNDP

New Horizons - The UN General Assembly declared 6 April as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.

Created at the initiative of the International Olympic Committee and officially announced at the United Nations headquarters last August, the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace promotes the role of sport as a tool at the service of society and a universal tool for peace.

UNDP welcomed this decision as it marks a new step in the United Nations advocacy efforts to highlight the benefits of sport and healthy lifestyles on broader social development.

Sport seen as an important development tool

It builds self-confidence; sport empowers youth, promotes good health and plays an important role in the global effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Sport belongs to everyone and has a common international language. Sport is also a strong unifying factor in the process of conflict transformation and peace building.

The convening power of sport makes it additionally compelling as a tool for advocacy and communication.

In this regard, UNDP has appointed sporting personalities as Goodwill Ambassadors with the objective of creating public awareness about development issues, while promoting tolerance and peace.

Among the UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors, six are sports champions - Ronaldo Nazario, Zinédine Zidane, Didier Drogba, Iker Casillas Marta Viera da Silva and Maria Sharapova.

They all agreed to give their time and their image to promote sustainable development through sports and they are now joining the United Nations and the global sports community to celebrate the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, highlighting how sport can contribute to education, health, gender equality, social inclusion, solidarity, tolerance, development and peace.

“The observance of the day help spread awareness about the importance of sport as a tool to build a peaceful and better world and to recognize the potential of sport to create positive social change across the globe. It is also an opportunity to unite and celebrate together.” said Didier Drogba on behalf of the UNDP team.

All Ambassadors reached out to the public in a series of posters to celebrate this day all together, as a team.

Download the posters!