On the occasion of the Tbilisi Grand Prix, which was held in Georgia from March 21-23, officials and judoka gathered on the stage to mark the inaugural International Day of Sport for Development and Peace which will be held on 6 April as declared by the UN General Assembly.
Mr. Marius VIZER, IJF President, and Mr. David KEVKHISHVILI, Georgian Judo Federation President, were joined by the athletes due to compete in the medal contests. Every member of the group held a white piece of card as a symbol of peace in front of the capacity crowd while the images were sent live around the world on the IJF’s online streaming website.
The IJF Judo for Peace Commission will be supporting the day with a range of activities around the world as the power of judo and its values will be used as a method of creating awareness and a notion for peace.
As a perfect illustration for this first edition of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, Judo united on the same picture Russians, Ukrainians, Americans, Israelis, Iranians and Arabic countries, as well as officials, referees, athletes and staff members.
Due to its vast reach and unparalleled popularity, sport is ideally positioned to contribute towards the United Nations’ objectives for development and peace. To raise awareness of this potential, 6 April was declared as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) by the UN General Assembly.
In the words of the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace, Mr. Wilfried Lemke, sport “has the capacity to empower individuals and bring one’s moral values to the forefront” and “can play a strategic role in transferring life skills and communicating useful and encouraging messages on important issues, thus driving social change.”
“This new commemoration on the international calendar will further promote the value of sport as a catalyst for development and peace”, said Mr. Wilfried Lemke.
The UN General Assembly declared the 6 April as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace in late August 2013. The adoption of this day signifies the increasing recognition by the United Nations of the positive influence that sport can have on the advancement of human rights, and social and economic development.
In this Resolution (A/RES/67/296), the General Assembly “invites States, the United Nations system and, in particular, the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace, relevant international organizations, and international, regional and national sport organisations, civil society including, non-governmental organizations and the private sector, and all other relevant stakeholders to cooperate, observe and raise awareness of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.”
“Sport has become a world language, a common denominator that breaks down all the walls, all the barriers. It is a worldwide industry whose practices can have widespread impact. Most of all, it is a powerful tool for progress and for development”, declared Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General.
Previous themes were PERSEVERANCE (2013), JUDO FOR ALL (2012) and RESPECT (2011) for the day which is dedicated to coaches, fans, judoka and everyone with a passion for one of the world’s most widely practiced sports.The World Judo Day takes place on the same date every year as 28 October is the birthday of Jigoro Kano, the founder of judo.Today, more than 20 million people practice judo around the world on a daily basis. The IJF has 200 national member federations and five continental unions.
Honour was voted as the most popular theme by fans on the IJF Facebook page.