The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ Legacy project, Generation Amazing Foundation (GA Foundation), the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA), and the Permanent Mission of Qatar to the UN in Geneva hosted a panel discussion to commemorate the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.
The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP), which takes place on 6 April each year since 2014, presents an opportunity to recognize the positive role sport and physical activity play in communities and in people’s lives across the globe.
In recognition of sport’s broad influence, the global theme of IDSDP 2022 is, “Securing a Sustainable and Peaceful Future for All: The Contribution of Sport,” which creates an opportunity for the day’s celebrations to promote the use of sport as a tool to advance human rights and sustainable development. The panel provided an opportunity to give Member States, Civil Society Organizations, and other relevant stakeholders a better understanding of how youth can utilise sport to build a more peaceful and sustainable future.
“Sport is an important tool to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and build a more peaceful and sustainable future for all. There are many great examples of how sport has brought people together and helped overcome difference. It is truly a world language. As a civil society movement for the United Nations, sport also plays an important part in our work, and we feel fortunate to have the opportunity to co-host this panel with Generation Amazing and the Permanent Mission of Qatar,” said WFUNA Secretary-General Bonian Golmohammadi.
The panel, conducted in a hybrid format, included remarks from GA Foundation, WFUNA, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar (MOFA), World Health Organization (WHO), FIFA Foundation, International Labour Organization, UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs, and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
The panel also hosted two youth representatives from GA Foundation and WFUNA who were given the opportunity to share their experiences of participating in Sport for Development activities. Sayed Naweed Alam, a GA Foundation Youth Advocate and now a journalist at ABC News in the US, was part of the Afghan evacuee group that was flown into Doha in 2021. He was introduced to GA Foundation at the Afghan compound in Qatar and became an advocate of Sport for Development activities ever since. Fahmida Faiza, a WFUNA youth representative at the panel, is currently leading safeguarding policies and practices across South Asia with her role at SAFF. She is the first person in her role to initiate the practice of safe, clean and inclusive sports through South Asian football while working with the national federations. As a British Barrister by education, Faiza's previous engagements with WFUNA range from Model UN, Youth Seminar, Youth Camp, Young Leader of the Year, Youth Advisory Council and many different other programs.
The panel was open to the public through online participation and in-person participation in Geneva.
“At Generation Amazing Foundation, we use sports as a tool for bringing people together as it mirrors social values such as fairness and a level playing field, healthy competition and teamwork as well as playing by the rules and equal opportunity. Underpinned by human development values expressed within Qatar’s National Vision 2030 and the United Nations Sustainable Development goals, our aspiration to reach one million beneficiaries before the close of 2022 is within our reach as we ‘foster participation in a wide variety of cultural and sports activities’.” said Nasser al Khori, Programmes Director of Generation Amazing.
He added: “Our sport development initiatives have a global reach through our partners in over 35 countries. Amongst these is, our award-winning partnership with IFRC delivers capacity building workshops through the Red Cross and Red Crescent national societies in Argentina, Iraq, Myanmar and Uganda, utilising a hybrid curriculum co-created by IFRC and Generation Amazing Foundation.”