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A Sport for Peace World Database
an article by David Wardrop, United Nations Association, Westminster Branch

Surely, round the world, there have been countless examples of sport as an ‘effective tool to promote peace, dialogue and reconciliation in areas of conflict’. Like so many peace-related activities, these are poorly recorded, let alone catalogued. Without a common platform or even a protocol, we have made it difficult for ourselves to learn from one another.

The author, holding the olympic torch

click on photo to enlarge

We propose to populate and launch a Sport for Peace World Database comprising success stories from all countries, showing how sport can be an effective tool to promote peace, dialogue and reconciliation in areas of conflict. It will be set up in London through the fortunate and unique coincidence of the goodwill and enthusiasm of its knowledgeable diplomatic community, the first-hand experience of London 2012 Olympics-linked organisations and the coordinating strengths of the United Nations Association Westminster branch. It will become a valuable tool for all peoples of the world to use and a tangible and sustaining legacy of the 2012 Olympic Games in the manner intended in the UN Resolution which was co-sponsored by all UN Member States on 14 October 2011.

It was thanks to the Olympic Truce of the ancient era that athletes could travel unhindered through the lands of traditional enemies to and from the Olympic Games. In the modern Olympiad era, the Truce played no part until 1993 when the UN General Assembly welcomed the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) appeal for an Olympic Truce to mobilise youth in the cause of peace. Seven years later, the IOC set up the International Olympic Truce Foundation (IOTF) and its operational arm, the International Olympic Truce Centre (IOTC) based in Athens to ‘promote further the ideals of peace and understanding through sport’. In the Olympic Village at the 2004 Athens Games, the flags of the United Nations and the Olympic Truce flew together for the first time. At last, the Olympic Truce had a universally recognised symbol. This practice has continued for each Olympic Games.

This project will progress so that, in pilot form, it may provide a useful resource during the debate Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic idea that will follow the Olympic Truce resolution proposed by the Russian Federation during the UN General Assembly’s 68th session.

We aim to:

1] Generate a wide support base, using the good offices of the Young Diplomats in London and the Westminster UNA Young Professionals networks.

2] Establish a launch format for the database, identifying key fields

3] Generate an initial funding stream from

a) supportive foundations and individuals

b) fund-raising initiatives

4] Identify suitable proprietary software

5] Undertake trials using examples of good practice provided by supportive countries

6] Populate and launch the world database


Question(s) related to this article:

How can sports promote peace?,

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[Editor's note.  The following article was sent in to CPNN by Ron Davis, Assistant Coach Cross Country / Track and Field
The Ohio State University. ]

'Lost Boy of Sudan' still running at Northern Arizona
By Bob Baum, AP Sports Writer

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Lopez Lomong was 6 years old when, in the dark of night, he and three older boys crawled through a small hole in a fence and ran barefoot for three days to escape their Sudanese rebel captors.

Sixteen years later, in the pines of Flagstaff with a comfortable life he never imagined, he is running still. . .

Next week, Lomong, a sophomore at Northern Arizona University, will be among the favorites in the 1,500 meters at the NCAA track and field championships in Sacramento, Calif.

"I have to picture myself when I was six years old, running from the death I saw. " he said. "God brought me over here safe and gave me the opportunity and ability to run. . ...more.

This report was posted on December 24,2012.