Peace and Sport unites millions of people around the world for the 10 years of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace
Athletes, International Federations, National Olympic Committees, political leaders, companies, international and not-for-profit organizations got massively mobilized behind Peace and Sport’s #WhiteCard campaign as they celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP), the UN-recognized celebration of the contribution of sport to inclusion, development and a peaceful world.
Launched by Peace and Sport in 2014, the #WhiteCard campaign, which has reached over 897 million people worldwide, invites people to take pictures of themselves with WhiteCards, before sharing them on social media. This year’s theme “10 years, United through the #WhiteCard”, encouraged people to develop sport-based initiatives around the IDSDP and aimed to raise awareness of the importance of making sport a priority towards institutions. This message reached 180 million people on social networks, which is the best performance so far.
The Principality of Monaco is a pioneer and driving force in the sport for development and peace movement. As such, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco sent a message to the international community calling for a global mobilization around the symbol #WhiteCard. He declared:
« On this symbolic day, I invite political decision-makers, international organizations, sports governance, civil society representatives, and athletes to join this global mobilization and celebrate the contribution of sport to local and international conflict prevention, resolution and reconciliation processes. #WhiteCard is the worldwide symbol to use.”
Several iconic places of Monaco such as the Prince Palace, the National Council, the Grimaldi Forum, the Fairmont Monte-Carlo, and the Oceanographic Museum were illuminated in white to support the #WhiteCard campaign.
Many athletes, including Peace and Sport’s Champions for Peace, promoted actively Peace and Sport’s #WhiteCard campaign:
– World record-holding free diver Pierre Frolla, World Marathon Champion Paula Radcliffe, Alpine ski Olympic Champion Pernilla Wiberg, Taekwondo Olympic Medalist Marlene Harnois and Olympian Kevin Crovetto raised awareness on the role of sport in building peace with 400 students of the Charles III high-school at the Rallye Princess Charlene in Monaco.
– Vice President of Peace and Sport and Football Legend Didier Drogba invited the peace through sport movement to join the campaign in a video message. He stated:
“On the 10th anniversary of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, celebrated every April 6, I would like to recall the fundamental role of sport in building a culture of peace. The world of sport and athletes has an important role in setting an example, especially among youth. They can advance causes that serve the common good, such as supporting gender equality, ending racial discrimination and helping to protect the environment. I congratulate the Sport for Development and Peace actors that participated in the April6 mobilization every year.”
– Benjamin Boukpeti, Togo’s first-ever Olympic medalist in canoe kayak, participated in a special edition of the Friendship Games organized in partnership with Terres en Mêlées. Supported by the French Embassy in Togo, the event was joined by Togo’s Minister of Sports Lidi Bessi Kama.
In addition, Peace and Sport supported many initiatives on the ground, notably in Cyprus, Colombia, Mexico, France and the United States.
In Cyprus, “Winds of Change” organized a bi-communal run and a conference in the UN buffer zone, to foster dialogue and cooperation between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities through sport.
In Colombia, Olympic Champion in Weightlifting Oscar Figueroa celebrated IDSDP with the beneficiaries of the Peacemakers Project in Usme, Bogota, during an event organized in partnership with Cop Colombia and the Colombian Ombudsman Office for Human Rights and Sport.
In Mexico, a massive mobilization organized by the Alfredo Harp Helu for Sport Foundation gathered more than 1 million Mexicans all over the country around the celebration of sport’s values.
In France, for the first time, the #WhiteCard was among the activations shared with the French schools by the Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024 within the framework of the Olympic and Paralympic Week.
In the United States, the President of Tibu Africa, a Peacemakers Project partner organization, Amine Zariat, brought the voice of grassroots stakeholders to a conference organized by the United Nations Department of Global Communications, with the support of the Permanent Missions of the Principality of Monaco and the State of Qatar to the United Nations. Joël Bouzou, President and Founder of Peace and Sport, gave the closing speech of the virtual conference “Scoring for the People and the Planet” organized by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations.
President and Founder of Peace and Sport, Joël Bouzou, said:
“April6 is one of the most important days in the year for the peace through sport movement as it celebrates sport’s crucial role in building a brighter future. This day shows that sport can be a vehicle for change. I am extremely pleased to see the diversity and the growing number of stakeholders involved in the #WhiteCard campaign. Having them with us can make a real difference as they can use their positions to better the world.”