Break ethnic, cultural and social class differences through Sports and Education; Urges UNESCO
Salah Khaled, the UNESCO Country Representative to South Sudan has urged South Sudan communities to use sports and education in breaking the existing ethnic, cultural and class differences. Speaking during the first National Unity Day that was organised by the Government of South Sudan Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport (MoCYS) and the Japan International Cooperation (JICA), Mr. Khaled outlined UNESCO’s own vision as building peace in the minds of men and women and believes education and sport are vital tools in breaking many social, economic and cultural barriers that cause conflict and difference among communities.
UNESCO being the United Nations’ lead agency for Physical Education and Sport (PES), considers and adopts Sports in Education as a vital medium for Peace and Development. The Organization is therefore committed to working with the Government of South Sudan in promoting sports in the country through physical education.
Recently, UNESCO adopted the revised International Charter for Physical Education as comprehensive reference for all stakeholders in the field of Sport for Development and Peace, acknowledging the multiple benefits of physical activity for individuals and society and as a universal language and powerful tool to cross boundaries, cultures and religions. This is also in recognition that sport plays a significant role as a promoter of social integration and economic development in different geographical, cultural and political contexts.
In addition, UNESCO recognises and honours culture and heritage, as sources of identity and mechanisms for unity, understanding and tolerance amongst communities. In South Sudan, UNESCO is also working with the Forest Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative to develop sports that promote ideals of peace, fraternity, solidarity, non-violence, tolerance and justice between different ethnic groups.
“I would also like to congratulate South Sudan for having the new Olympic Committee recognized. This is an important step for South Sudan to compete globally and prove to the world, the determination of South Sudanese people and their power to represent their country as one, one team, for one country in the next Olympics games” emphasized Mr. Khaled.
Finally, UNESCO is encouraging you to make the most of the opportunities in the week ahead of National Unity activities. We believe this programme is a real chance to build relationships and to learn more about one another through both peace building and sports activities. Be together, help each other, focus on your education, and use sports to make your country one united South Sudan. Without education you will not be able to build your great country. You now have a peace agreement. Get together, forgive, and unite for your country to protect your Heritage and your Identity.
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