“Seeing the perseverance from many of these leaders in sporting activities around the world is a clear indication of the unity that is possible with these projects,” Sir Philip said.
The Peace and Sport Forum held the theme “How can sport encourage communities to come together by helping them to accept their differences?”, with the representation of over 50 countries from the five continents finding concrete solutions to this question. More than 40 speakers informed the audience about the impact of sport on their respective region. Among them, a memorable account came from Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire and Timor Leste, where populations are trying to introduce sport to help youth on the fringes of society.
Many well-known sports figures and representatives were in attendance at the event, including Sir Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee and Wilfried Lemke, Special Advisor to the UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace. Sir Philip deemed the event a great success, referencing the diverse individuals who each were able to contribute.
“Seeing the perseverance from many of these leaders in sporting activities around the world is a clear indication of the unity that is possible with these projects,” Sir Philip said. “The ability to bring communities together also could not be achieved without the help of athletes.”
The Peace and Sport Forum produced many discussions and debates which focussed on how sport can cause positive growth and strength between institutions and individuals, and how it is likely to lessen tension, and heal the aftermath of conflicts or prevent conflicts altogether. Joel Bouzou, President and Founder of Peace and Sport, closed the forum with ambitious work plans aimed at creating a network of actors for peace through sport throughout the world.
Some of the plans Bouzou mentioned included educating youth as well as political decision-makers, strengthening the co-ordination of projects to optimize resources, define clear co-operation methods between governments and sports authorities, and mobilize the organizers of major sports events so that they can help actions taken to encourage peace through sport.
For more information about the International Peace and Sport Forum, please visit www.peace-sport.org.