International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

 

In August 2013, the UN General Assembly decided to proclaim 6 April as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) and in 2018, Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) signed an initiative with Qatar Charity and the International Center for Sports Security (ICSS) to promote peace and development through sport for the Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in Darfur, entitled “Sport for Development and Peace”.


On 6 April 2021, the Embassy of the State of Qatar in the UK hosted a webinar on ‘Sport for Development and Peace’ to mark the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.

The webinar covered the impact of sports on international development and peace, with speakers highlighting that sports can act as an enabler for peacebuilding and development efforts by reaching marginalised communities and enabling them to achieve their full potential.

Participants praised the State of Qatar’s efforts in this area, emphasising that since the awarding of the hosting rights of the 2022 World Cup, Qatar has made important efforts to utilise sports as a catalyst for peace and development.

The event was attended by, Professor Simon Chadwick, Director of the Centre for Eurasian Sport Industry and Professor of Eurasian Sport Industry at EM Lyon Business School. Ms Reem Al-Harami, Second Secretary of the Embassy of the State of Qatar in London. Mr Marco Teixeira, Global Programme Coordinator, Implementation of the Doha Declaration, UNODC. Mr Massimiliano Montanari, CEO, International Centre for Sport Security. Professor Danyel Reiche, Visiting Associate Professor, Georgetown University Doha. Mr Ali Abdullah, Deputy Director-General for Planning, Qatar Fund For Development. Ms Rwodah Ibrahim Al-Naimi, Head of Strategic Partnerships, Qatar Fund For Development.


Professor Chadwick welcomed the participants and thanked those that are working on projects that bring sports and development together. He endorsed the idea that sports should be a catalyst for dialogue and understanding different worldviews, adding that these attributes were one of the “most important things sports have given to me”.

Professor Chadwick also highlighted that Qatar works with international partners to economically empower refugees and marginalised individuals and conducts reforms to its labour market.

Ms Reem Al-Harami, Second Secretary of the Embassy of the State of Qatar in London, began her remarks by highlighting that Qatar has a passion for sport and believes that “sport can strengthen” societies and links between nations and communities. She emphasised the importance of sport in fostering a sense of community, especially in those affected by violence and conflict as well as in response to the pandemic.

“International Day of Sport for Development and Peace is an opportunity to highlight how sports can strengthen societal ties within and between societies and promote sustainable development and peace and promote, as well as, solidarity and respect between nations and individuals. “

Ms Al-Harami continued to express the importance of sports for Qatar, “we in Qatar know how sport can cross boundaries defy stereotypes, improve our physical and emotional health and inspire hope across nations.

She further highlighted the role Qatar has played, in providing funding, support and resources at grassroots levels, “through global initiatives such as sports of development and peace in Darfur Qatar seeks to promote social integration and peacebuilding with long term goal of conflict resolution.

On the significance of Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup not only for the region but for the long-term sport and development legacy it will leave behind, Ms Al-Harami noted Qatar’s commitment to ensuring that the tournament leaves a sustainable impact.

 “We are firmly dedicated to ensuring that the tournament leaves a positive, human, economic, social and environmental legacy for our country.”