IOM Egypt, UN, Egyptian Foreign Ministry, Francophone Embassies Celebrate International Sport Day

Cairo, 24 April 2017 – To mark both the International Day of Sport for Peace and Development and the International Francophonie Day, a celebration was held on 22 April in Cairo that included a football match between the United Nations family and Francophone embassies in Egypt.

In an opening address, Assistant Foreign Minister for Multilateral Affairs and International Security Ambassador Hisham Badr said sport is one of the main pillars of peace and a vehicle for strengthening ties among peoples. Ambassador Badr described sport as "an engine for achieving peace and development because it provides a platform for harmony and cordiality between peoples, especially youth."

Representing the United Nations family, its Resident Coordinator Richard Dictus delivered a statement in which he said sport has an important role to play in achieving the 17 sustainable development goals approved by 193 countries in 2015 in order to build a better future of peace, justice and dignity for all. “Sport has a significant role to play in this regard: it has great potential for mobilizing people, it can promote and harness positive values, empower, inspire and unite,” said Dictus. He added that every day sports motivate girls and boys, help improve their academic learning at schools, and empower girls and women by providing leadership and accomplishment opportunities.

The Sport Day, organized under the auspices of His Excellency Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, was held at the Gezira Youth Center in Cairo in the presence of many Foreign Ministry officials, members of the diplomatic corps, and UN employees. The friendly football match pitted a team of staff members from United Nations offices in Egypt against a team made up of two migrants from Zimbabwe and Burundi representing IOM Egypt, Francophone embassies employees and students from the Senghor University in Alexandria – which is sponsored by the International Francophonie Organization.

Among the main sustainable development goals the Sport Day seeks to highlight is ending poverty in all its forms everywhere, ending hunger, ensuring healthy lives, obtaining quality education, achieving gender equality, providing decent work for all, promoting economic growth, ensuring access to clean water and energy, combating climate change, building inclusive and peaceful societies, in addition to other significant goals the world organization is encouraging its member countries to commit to and achieve by 2030.

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  • Aicha, a migrant from Burundi, represented IOM Egypt in the football team that promoted the SDGs.