Dubai launches 'peace through sport' initiative

Inaugural forum to take place in April 2013

The Dubai Sports Council and 'Peace and Sport' have formed a strategic alliance to make sport a driving force for development, education, cohesion and peace in the entire Middle East region and further afield.

The partnership was made official on Tuesday at a press conference attended by Mattar Al Tayer, Deputy Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council and Joël Bouzou, President and Founder of Peace and Sport.

The partnership between Peace and Sport and the Dubai Sports Council aims to put in place actions to reconcile communities through sport, encourage dialogue, exchange ideas and help societies to reconstruct peaceful foundations, thanks to youth education, especially after the social, economic and political upheavals provoked by the 'Arab Spring'.

As a first step in this partnership the first Peace and Sport Middle East Forum, which will bring together decision-makers from sport, the private sector and civil society in the region will be held in Dubai in April 2013.

This launch event will be held under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council. More than 200 key figures are expected to take part in the debates that will last three days.

This forum will initiate other actions which will be jointly conducted by the Dubai Sports Council and Peace and Sport: Activities aimed at key decision makers raise to awareness about the impact of sport to promote peace and social cohesion; Field programmes in the most disadvantaged areas of the region and the entire world; Involvement of top-level Arab athletes as a source of inspiration and role-model for young people.

Al Tayer said: "We are very proud of the partnership that we are signing today with Peace and Sport, an organization whose international reputation honours us. It’s a first step in  the policy of the  Emirate of Dubai to promote human development, to fight poverty, to spread knowledge, empower young people and give them the means to become self-reliant, promote communication and tolerance between cultures. Through the alliance with Peace and Sport, the Dubai Sports Council gives new ambition for its commitments to support the ideals and the values of peace brought by the sport movement.”

“In just a few years Dubai has succeeded in making sport a vehicle for its international reputation,” said Bouzou. "Today, another major step has been taken. We share the same belief as the Dubai Sports Council, that sport is not limited to performance and competition. Sport is above all about tolerance, respect, and communication. It’s a universal language, which trains the body as well as the mind. This is the message that we want to impart to young people in the Middle East and all over the world, so that we can build a fairer, more caring, more peaceful society. Today, we have the resources and expertise to make this dream a reality."

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