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15 Apr 2015
Through sport the global community can foster inspiration and hope for a better future, according to the UN Secretary-General.
Ban Ki-moon was speaking at the celebration of the Second International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.
This year, he said the UN is encouraging all sportsmen and women to throw their energy into advocating for the new sustainable development agenda, a set of poverty and development targets.
Stephanie Coutrix reports.
Sport encourages individuals to take on challenges, build strong relationships and strive with others towards shared goals.
The UN chief shared this message as he welcomed the Presidents of the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee to UN Headquarters.
He paid tribute to tennis star Billie Jean King and Cheri Baluwet, an American wheelchair racer, and commended all athletes who are using their fame and influence to help bring about social change.
“Sport plays an important role in society. It can help keep kids in school, promote leadership skills and healthy lifestyles, and empower marginalized people. And at times of conflict and unrest, sport can help provide victim with space to heal and grow.”
Mr Ban added that this year, when the Ebola epidemic erupted in West Africa, the FIFA football association helped turn stadiums into treatment locations, such as Monrovia’s Antoinette Tubman Stadium in Liberia.
Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.