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Why April 6 is observed as International Day of Sport for Development & Peace

By Shubham

Sport is often considered a vehicle for spreading positive values and can play a great role in achieving the goal of attainment of universal development and peace. It is because of this reason that the United Nations General Assembly decided to commemorate April 6, the date when the first modern Olympics started in Greece, as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP). The General Assembly, in its resolution (A/RES/67/296) dated August 23, 2013, established the day by inviting states, the UN system, relevant regional and national sports organisations, civil society - NGOs and private sector - and other relevant stakeholders to cooperate, observe and raise awareness about the day.

Why April 6 is observed as International Day of Sport for Development & Peace

By adopting April 6 as the day to use sport for development and peace, the UN showed the importance sport can have on the advancement of human rights and social and economic development.

The international football federation (Fifa) is promoting the day across channels to highlight some of the projects related to development and sustainability it is carrying out in partnership with 211 member associations and six confederations to highlight the role football can play in improving peace and development.

Renowned Japanese athletes also joined the UN-backed campaign to promote development goals across the globe through the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games their country will organise in 2020.

World-renowned Japanese athletes are joining a United Nations-backed campaign to promote global development goals through the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games their country will host in 2020.

The sport has played a major role in breaking the ice in complicated political relations to a considerable extent.

US-China ping pong diplomacy of 1971

In 1971, the Chinese had invited the American table tennis team which was in Japan for a competition to visit their country which though was otherwise isolated but sent its athletes to travel overseas to carry out the duty of diplomacy by means of sports.

Coincidentally, that too was April 6 and four days later, the American TT team set their foot on China to mark a fresh beginning in the US-China relations. The next year, the then US president Richard Nixon would visit China to meet its leader Mao Ze Dong marking a new era in the US-China relations.

India-Pak cricket series in 2004

In 2004, India sent its cricket team to Pakistan, a country with which it has a terrible relation since independence. The then Atal Behari Vajpayee government in India decided to give diplomacy one more chance by allowing its cricket team to go to the neighbouring country even though in 1999, his own visit to Lahore by bus was returned with the Kargil War. The 2004 visit went off successfully with India winning their first ever series in Pakistan and the Pakistani viewers appreciated the superior team. It was a historic milestone.

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