The United Nations (UN) and the International Judo Federation (IJF) today signed an initial two-year partnership agreement seeking to further harness the power of judo to bring about positive social change worldwide. The partnership was signed in Abu Dhabi on the sidelines of the Judo Grand Prix, Abu Dhabi 2012, by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, Wilfried Lemke, and the IJF President, Marius L. Vizer.
“The United Nations has long recognized the key role that sport federations can play in contributing to human progress and achieving the Millennium Development Goals,” Mr. Lemke declared. “I am glad that today we can formalize the efficient collaboration we have had with the IJF over the past years and I look forward to more meaningful projects together,” he added.
“Judo teaches many of the fundamental values for succeeding in life such as respect for your counterpart and respect of the rules. These are all essential lessons of life, in particular for societies that have been or are in conflict,” Mr. Lemke ended.
"Judo is much more than a sport; it is a philosophy, an art of life and an outstanding education tool," stressed the IJF President Marius Vizer. He continued: “At IJF, we are entirely aware of that potential and are committed to harnessing it to the fullest, in close cooperation with the United Nations and their dedicated entity, the UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace."
So far, the IJF has contributed to all three of the camps organized in 2012 by the UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP) in Doha (Qatar), Hennef (Germany) and Macolin (Switzerland). Each time, an IJF instructor was present on the ground to teach the young participants how to use judo for conflict prevention and management purposes.
Reciprocally, the Special Adviser and UNOSDP have also contributed to the IJF projects and participated in several IJF ‘Judo for Peace’ seminars, where the main topics were judo as an educational tool in peace-building activities and the promotion of human rights.
ABOUT THE UNITED NATIONS OFFICE ON SPORT FOR DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE (UNOSDP)
The United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP) works to promote sport as an innovative and efficient tool in advancing the United Nations’ goals, missions and values. Through advocacy, partnership facilitation, policy work, project support and diplomacy, UNOSDP strives to maximize the contribution of sport and physical activity to help create a safer, more secure, more sustainable, more equitable future.
In April 2010, UNOSDP entered into a five-year partnership with SportAccord, the umbrella organisation grouping together 107 International Sports Federations and Organisations, in order to engage further these federations in shaping up their social responsibility and mobilizing their respective sport in order to advance social development.