Islamabad - Sports has established itself as an effective tool for development and peace building. Sports for development and peace have addressed many of the challenge, society has faced, hence making sports a significant assent in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and post 2015 agendas.

The second International Day of Sport for Development and Peace calls for putting “Sport for Development and Peace” on priority policy agendas related to education, health and peace, said Iqbal Jatoi, Country Manager of Right To Play Pakistan.

Right To Play Pakistan celebrated International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) in a ceremony honored by Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Training, Balighur Rehman as a chief guest.

The minister while addressing the ceremony said, “I will recommend incorporating play and sports in National Education Policy in 2015 and will advocate the all four provinces to devise a policy to place sports and play in their education agendas.” The minister appreciated the efforts of right to play to contribute for quality education by working in 650 government schools of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh.

The IDSDP 2015 is high time for Pakistan to join international movement and recognize sport and play a fundamental right of a child as endorsed by United Nations Convention on the Right of Child, said Iqbal Jatoi, Country Manager of Right To Play.

On the occasion, Right To Play shared a policy brief for policymakers. The policy brief highlight few recommendations on bringing health and physical education on priority education agenda in Pakistan. Iqbal Jatoi shared the recommendations, which are mandatory playgrounds/play spaces in educational institutions, more budgetary allocations for physical education in schools, revision and update the health and physical education curriculum, training and capacity building of physical education teachers and revival of physical education in primary level of schools.  

The concept of sports for development and peace (SDP) is gaining momentum worldwide. Due to its positive values and power to contribute towards objectives of the United Nations, the UN General Assembly declared April 6 as International Day of Sports for Development & Peace (IDSDP) in 2013. The first ever IDSDP was celebrated by the world on April 6, 2014.

Video Message by Wilfried Lemke for IDSDP 2015 was screened for audience. The message urged governments, civil society and development agencies to “Continue joining efforts to firmly place sports in policies and programmes relating to education, health development and peace consolidation.”  A special representative from UNESCO Pakistan read the special message of Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO for IDSDP 2015.

The program was followed by three panel sessions to generate debate around the role of sport for quality education, social cohesion and peace and women empowerment/development.