6 April 2018

UN sees role for sport to advance Sustainable Development Goals

The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, held each year on 6th April, was launched by the UN to highlight sport’s unique contribution to human development.

Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, says that “the values of sport are the values of universality and harmony”.

“It relies upon the concepts of respect, understanding, integration and dialogue, and it contributes to the development and fulfilment of individuals regardless of age, gender, origins, beliefs and opinions. That is why sport is a unique forum for action and reflection to transform our societies”, she adds.

As part of this recognition, UNESCO secured agreement in 2017 for the Kazan Plan, which makes the direct link between sport policy and the Sustainable Development Goals out to 2030. This means member states are now committed to developing a ‘comprehensive vision’ for how sport can contribute to sustainability, inclusivity, and peace.

Other major sporting bodies, such as the International Olympic Committee and FIFA, are supporting the goals and highlighting its initiatives across the world.

Fatma Samoura, FIFA Secretary General commented: “Through our flagship development programme – FIFA Forward – as well as our ongoing work in sustainability, diversity and anti-discrimination, FIFA is continuing to play an active and significant role in bringing the game to more people around the world, as well as ensuring that football continues to make an active contribution to sustainable development, education and peace in society.”

The UN is encouraging participation across social media, especially using the hashtags #IDSDP2018 and #Sport2030. Events and activities are also being shared on platforms such as and The #whitecard campaign has also been launched to demonstrate sport’s ability to foster peace among peoples and nations.

Climate Action is hosting the 3rd Sustainable Innovation in Sport Forum on 2-3 May at the Amsterdam ArenA in the Netherlands. To find out more, visit the Sustainable Innovation in Sport website.

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