International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

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.

UNESCO is the United Nations’ lead agency for Physical Education and Sport (PES). UNESCO believes that sport is a powerful vehicle for social inclusion, gender equality and youth empowerment, with benefits that are felt far beyond the stadiums. Indeed, the values acquired in and through sport – such as fair play and a team spirit – are invaluable to the whole of society.

Why Sport?

Sport has historically played an important role in all societies, be it in the form of competitive sport, physical activity or play. But one may wonder: what does sport have to do with the United Nations? In fact, sport presents a natural partnership for the United Nations (UN) system, including UNESCO:
Sport and play are human rights

that must be respected and enforced worldwide

Sport has been increasingly recognized and used as a low-cost

and high-impact tool in humanitarian, development and peace-building efforts, not only by the UN system but also by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), governments, development agencies, sports federations, armed forces and the media.

Sport can no longer be considered a luxury within any society but is rather an important investment in the present and future, particularly in developing countries.

"On this International Day, our Organization celebrates the virtues and universal values of sport, and would like to recall how much sports practice, which allows us to have “a healthy mind in a healthy body”, also carries an ethic of living together and of peace – an ethic that we particularly need in these troubled times."
UNESCO Director-General
Audrey Azoulay Director-General of UNESCO

What UNESCO does for the Sport

Sport and Anti-doping

UNESCO, as the United Nations’ lead agency for physical education and sport, promotes the educational, cultural and social dimensions of sport and physical education.

Fit for Life

Using sport to drive health, education and equality outcomes

Promoting Quality Physical Education Policy (QPE)

QPE represents active, inclusive, peer-led learning. A tailored QPE programme supports students to develop the physical, social and emotional skills which define self-confident and socially responsible citizens.

Values Education through Sport

Sport can teach values such as fairness, teambuilding, equality, discipline, inclusion, perseverance and respect.

Kazan Action Plan

The plan marks the commitment to link sport policy development to the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations.

International Charter of Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport

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.

Join us in celebrating Sports for Development and Peace Day

Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences at UNESCO, discusses how UNESCO is using sport to tackle three intersecting global challenges worsened by COVID-19: physical inactivity, mental health issues and inequality. UNESCO’s new sport initiative Fit for Life is framed as a solution to driving outcomes in health, education and equality. Offering stakeholders a joined-up implementation framework with concrete pathways to deliver smart investments in sport that create impact across sectors, Fit for Life aims at triggering systems-based and behaviourial change to “build back better”.

Read more

Maximizing the power of sport
The Power of sport values
Colour? What colour? Report on the fight against discrimination and racism in football
With the support of the Juventus Football Club


Resolution adopted by the General Assembly
UN website about this day
Past Edition
All international days