March 26- The first International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, which will take place on April 6, is being fully supported by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
The United Nations (UN) General Assembly proclaimed the new initiative in using sport as a tool for peace at its New York headquarters in August.
This day will be celebrated each year by UN Member States and other partner organisations to honour the role that sport plays in society, whether by encouraging healthier lifestyles, making sport more widely accessible or using sport as a vehicle for development in areas made vulnerable by conflict, poverty and inequality.
This decision marks an historic step in recognising sport as a tool for development and peace and the IAAF is "delighted" to support not only the UN and the International Olympic Committee but another Athletics Better World (ABW) partner, Peace and Sport.
It was established in 2007 by France's former Olympic modern pentathlon medallist Joel Bouzou, and has set up a website and created a number of tools which can used by anyone to promote and build awareness of April 6.
ABW, a new programme that will harness the extraordinary commitment and energy of the worldwide athletics family to inspire lasting change, will be launched officially by IAAF President Lamine Diack on April 8 at the SportAccord International Convention in Belek, Turkey.
ABW will provide a common platform to promote all projects that seek to use athletics as a tool for social good.
President Diack commented: "Athletics is the world's sport.
"Nothing could be simpler and more universal than the appeal of running, jumping and throwing as fast and as far as we can.
"But being the global sport means accepting a global responsibility: to use the power and reach of athletics to make a positive difference in the world.
"It is for this reason that I fully endorse the efforts being made by the UN and its partners to celebrate the first ever International Day of Sport for Development and Peace and I am happy to show a White Card to symbolise Peace and call on all members of the athletics family to join in the celebrations on 6 April by organising an appropriate activity."
For more information on the day, click here.
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