Sport and physical education play an important role in human development. By their very nature, sport and physical education are about participation, inclusion and a sense of belonging. They bring individuals and communities together, highlighting commonalties and bridging cultural and ethnic divides.
Sport and physical education provide a forum to learn skills such as discipline, confidence and leadership and they convey core principles that are important in a democracy, such as tolerance, cooperation and respect. Sport and physical education teach the fundamental value of effort and how to manage essential steps in life such as victory or defeat. At the same time, physical education classes are often the first ones to be reduced or cancelled in schools in hard economic times, conflict or under the pressure from other academic fields. Grassroots sport-based initiatives receive little support from governments.
The United Nations General Assembly in its Resolution 58/5, entitled "Sport as a means to promote Education, Health, Development and Peace", recognized the positive values of sport and physical education and acknowledged the challenges presented before the world of sport today. This Resolution proclaimed the year 2005 as the International Year of Sport and Physical Education (IYSPE 2005), and invited Governments, the United Nations system and sport organizations to:
· Include sport and physical education as a tool in development programmes and policies, including those contributing to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
· Work collectively and form partnerships based on solidarity and cooperation
· Promote sport and physical education as a tool for health, education, social and cultural development on the local and national levels
· Strengthen collaboration with civil society actors
Resolution 58/5 encourages Governments, international sports bodies and sport-related organizations to elaborate and implement partnership initiatives with the aim of supporting sport-based development projects targeted at the achievement of the MDGs.
The official IYSPE 2005 website.
An interview with Adolf Ogi, UN Special Advisor on Sport, in the April 2005 issue of UN Special.
All the International Years proclaimed by the General Assembly.
Netherlands Antilles 24 October 2005