Bulgarian UN Youth Delegates launch “Sport for development” programme

The Bulgarian Youth delegates to the UN for 2017/2018 are launching a campaign entitled “Sport for Development” and focused on sport as a tool for sustainable development. The initiative is within one of the main priorities of the delegates – sport, and aims to make young people more acquainted with the subject of sport and more specifically how it contributes to achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

As a result of the survey the Youth delegates conducted in the beginning of their mandate Bulgarian youth recognize the need of sport in education as they acknowledge its role in building healthy lifestyle habits as well as passing on important values as tolerance, discipline and perseverance. Young people in Bulgaria also find sport as a suitable tool for intercultural dialogue and it is important to underline that youth sees sport not only as a physical activity but as a tool for the development of society and the improvement of its condition.

The campaign will continue for several months and it is intended to focus on each one of the Sustainable Development Goals and its connection with sport. During the campaign the youth delegates will also introduce different sport activities on national, European and global level that are related to the achievement of the Global Goals.

An example of action for the Goals through sport is the soon concluded Cooperation Agreement between the United Nations Association of Bulgaria and the Bulgarian Football Union based on Goal 3 “Good Health and Well-Being”, Goal 16 “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions” and Goal 17 “Partnerships for the Goals” from the Agenda 2030. It will also promote sport as means for diplomacy for achieving peace and understanding between nations.

On global level the role of sport for sustainable development is more and more recognized in the last decades. In 1978 was adopted the International Charter of Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport, and in 2001 the first United Nations Special Advisor on Sport for Development and Peace was appointed. The UN General Assembly proclaimed 2005 for International Year of Sport and Physical Education and in the same year the UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace was established. In 2013 the 6th of April is proclaimed as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. In 2015, with the adoption of the new Agenda for Sustainable Development, the role of sport is clearly defined in the documents of the United Nations.

The potential for sport to contribute to sustainable development is explicitly stated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with identification of:

“…the growing contribution of sport to the realization of development and peace in its promotion of tolerance and respect and the contributions it makes to the empowerment of women and of young people, individuals and communities as well as to health, education and social inclusion objectives.”

This statement extends previous key international declarations that recognize and advocate the use of sport as a catalyst for human and social development. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development represents a further important milestone for sport but also brings significant responsibility for all stakeholders to collectively contribute to global aspirations.

During the campaign you will find out how exactly the UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace defined the connection between sport and each one of the Sustainable Development Goals.

You can follow the campaign on the official page of the Bulgarian Youth Delegates to the UN. There will also be published information about upcoming events related to “Sport for Development”.

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