International Day of Sport for Development and Peace 2017

© UNESCO / Mohammad Rakibul Hasan

The power of sport         

Message from Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO

This International Day is an opportunity to raise the banner for the power of sport for development and peace.

Sport is a way to include everyone

Irina Bokova
UNESCO Director-General

Sport is a passion shared by women and men across the world. It is a force for physical well-being and social empowerment. It is an engine for equality, especially gender equality, for including everyone, especially the most disadvantaged. There is no more powerful platform than sport to nurture the values we all share – solidarity, responsibility, respect, honesty, teamwork, equality motivation and self-esteem… Sport is a way to include everyone, including refugees and migrants, to fight against stereotypes, to strengthen the foundations for peace in healthy societies.

As the world takes forward the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we must do everything to support sport to leave no one behind. This is the spirit driving UNESCO’s International Charter for Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport, to ensure respect for the fundamental right to sport for every woman and man without discrimination. This same spirit inspires the work of volunteers across the world, dedicated to supporting sport for development and peace, whose work we commend today.

Physical inactivity leads every year to an estimated 3.2 million deaths. This is why UNESCO has joined forces with the World Health Organization to combat sedentary lifestyles, starting with inclusive and equitable quality physical education at school. This calls for new commitment and resources from all actors – to ensure public policies, especially in the fields of health, education, urban planning, infrastructure and transport, work also with the private sector in the development of legislation, regulations and national plans for sport.

This is the goal of the 6th Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials responsible for Physical Education and Sport (MINEPS VI) organized by UNESCO, in partnership with the Russian Federation, in Kazan, from 13 to 15 July 2017.

We must catalyse real action where it is needed. We must all get moving to make sport for all a reality – this has never been so vital.

Download the message in PDF format
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© Shutterstock / Zurijeta

The International Charter of Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport is a rights-based reference that orients and supports policy- and decision-making in sport.

Based on the universal spirit of the original Charter, and integrating the significant evolutions in the field of sport since 1978, the revised Charter  introduces universal principles such as gender equality, non-discrimination and social inclusion in and through sport. It also highlights the benefits of physical activity, the sustainability of sport, the inclusion of persons with disabilities and the protection of children.

Celebrating 6 April ...

In August 2013, the UN General Assembly made the decision to proclaim 6 April as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. (A/RES/67/296)

Quality Physical Education



The Sixth International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sport, MINEPS VI, will be held in Kazan, Russian Federation, from 13 to 15 July 2017.

MINEPS VI will be structured around three main themes:

  • Developing a comprehensive vision of inclusive access for all.
  • Maximizing the contributions of sport to sustainable development and peace.
  • Protecting the integrity of sport.

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   See also

   Photo Book
   The Power of Sport Values
   UNESCO Publishing

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