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Using sport and the aura surrounding athletes to promote peace is the primary mission of Peace and Sport.

This international organisation was founded in Monaco in 2007 by modern pentathlon world champion and Olympic medallist Joël Bouzou. It operates under the high patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II. Ivorian international footballer Didier Drogba has served as Vice President of the organisation since his retirement from sport in 2018.

It's Important to Continue to Change Peoples' Attitudes
 Read Joël Bouzou's interview

Peace and Sport develops and brings together synergies and partnerships between a variety of stakeholders working for peace (NGOs, agencies of the United Nations, universities), global sporting institutions (the Olympic family, international federations, national Olympic committees, renowned athletes) and the world of politics.

The aim behind these collaborations is to implement programmes on the ground and ensure that they are sustainable over time. In this way, sport can be used to develop peace and bring about social transformation in some parts of the world which are affected by poverty or conflict.

© Direction de la Communication - Stéphane Danna
© Direction de la Communication - Michael Alesi

The organisation acts locally to illustrate the unifying, educational and social impact of sport through sports diplomacy initiatives and sports programmes run with support from Peace Champions, who are often from the country in question.

Peace and Sport Ambassadors are sporting personalities who are known for their strong commitment to peace and sport throughout the world. They include Sergey Bubka, Sébastien Chabal, Novak Djokovic, Christopher Froome, Blaise Matuidi and Sébastien Loeb. In 2020, Lionel Messi was awarded Champion for Peace by the Organisation.

Peace and Sport’s symbol, the White Card, offers a way to bring as many people as possible together in a commitment to world peace.

The symbol is used at a number of sporting events throughout the year, and is particularly visible on 6 April, the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.

© Direction de la Communication - Stéphane Danna
Interview

It's Important to Continue to Change Peoples' Attitudes

Joël Bouzou, President and founder of Peace and Sport, explains how sport can be a tool for peace processes.

How can sport contribute to peace?

Sport brings people together and strengthens dialogue between nations and communities in a sustainable way. Teaching its values to young people also helps prevent many problems in the communities that are the most affected by violence and poverty.

Today, sport is recognised by a growing number of people as a tool for development policies and peace processes. However, it is important to continue to change people’s attitudes and provide decision-makers with tangible evidence of its effectiveness as a peace-building tool. That’s why we have developed the “Peace and Sport x MyCoach” mobile app, which applies the Peace and Sport Methodology to peace-building in the field.

Do you have any examples of "peacemaking" to which sport has contributed?

We gathered together more than 200 stories illustrating peace through sport on the website www.april6.org for the last International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, in which Peace and Sport involves the international community every year! Our “Peacemakers Project” is an example of a practical initiative for building peace through sport. With the support of the Danone Nations Cup and MyCoach, this project enables ten grassroots organisations in nine countries to use the “Peace and Sport x MyCoach” mobile application as central to their programme. This operation impacts 200 peace educators and nearly 2,000 children worldwide. Just recently, six projects run by Peace and Sport were presented as good peacebuilding practices by Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations. This includes our Live Together programme, which provides structured sports activities to over 300 young people every week in the Al Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan.

What is the role of Champions for Peace such as Messi?

The “Champions of Peace” are grouped together in a collective of more than 119 high-level sportspeople and are one of the cornerstones of Peace and Sport. They act as role models, heroes and sources of inspiration for young people around the world; they put their time, fame and experience as athletes at the service of Peace and Sport’s message, demonstrating that sport goes beyond sporting performance. In recent years, the Champions for Peace have positioned themselves not just as influencers; they also alert the general public and political decision-makers to societal issues. Lionel Messi has been acclaimed for his behaviour on the pitch, based on “fair play,” respect and tolerance, and also for his commitment to promoting children’s rights.

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