The Transformative Power of Sport:
The transformative power of sport has been recognised at the international level. At the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, the United Nations launched its International Working Group on Sport for Development and Peace. Co-operating with a range of international organisations and seeking to progress the Millennium Development Goals to address global poverty, the Working Group has recognised the role of sport in building relationships, rehumanising opposing groups, reintegrating ex-combatants, broadcasting a message of peace and creating a space for dialogue, truth and reconciliation.
In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 6th April as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. Assembly President Vuk Jeremic said:
Sport can be a powerful handmaiden for peace and reconciliation. It can bring us closer through shared celebration of achievements of universal appeal and attraction… In effortlessly throwing asunder all human barriers, sport is indeed the world’s universal language.
A Crown for Australia. Social Justice Statement 2014-15, p 8