WTF President Proposes Creation of ‘Sport Peace Corps’ at Int’l Peace and Sport Forum in Monaco
“Inspired by the ‘takeowndo peace corps,’ I propose developing a ‘Sport Peace Corps’ program to expand the initiative globally in a larger scale and to involve other international organizations,” said WTF President Choue.
He said, “The Sport Peace Corps entails provision of comprehensive sport-related assistance to the underdeveloped countries or the United Nations-assigned areas.” “The assistance includes coaching and training service to the local young athletes, supply of equipment and facilities, and finding the means and opportunity for the competent young people to participate in the international sport events.”
“It requires a group of volunteers consisted of coaches, athletes, and teachers to be dispatched to serve the assigned community,” WTF President Choue said.
He made the proposal at Session 4 of the inaugural International Peace and Sport Forum, which opened at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel on Dec. 5 for a three-day run. The sub-topic of Session 4 was “The Sport Movement: Legitimacy, Means and Sectors of Intervention.”
Under the patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of the Municipality of Monaco, the first edition of the international forum drew more than 150 people from around the world.
The International Peace and Sport Forum is a unique international gathering, which brings together heads of state and governments, sport governing bodies – the International Olympic Committee, International Sports Federations, National Olympic Committees – the World Olympians Association, strategic and financial partners, sport experts and non-governmental organizations.
Among the participants were H.S.H. Prince Albert II; Joel Bouzou, president of Peace and Sport; Mr. Adolf Ogi, special advisor to the secretary general of the United Nations on Sport for Development and Peace; Mr. Mario Pescante, a member of the IOC Executive Board; and H.R.H. Prince Nawaf Faisal Fahd Abdulaziz, president of the Executive Board of Saudi Arabian NOC.
Special guests were invited as speakers of the forum – Prof. Manuel Hassassian, Palestinian ambassador to the United Kingdom; and Mr. Galeb Majadle, minister of culture, sport and science of Israel. Prof. Hassassian attended the forum on behalf of Mr. Riad Malki, minister of ifformation and Foreign affairs of Palestine.
Under the topic “Taekwondo’s Role as an Instrument of Peace,” WTF President Choue said that “The Sport Peace Corps project aims at utilizing sport as part of education, training and youth program; giving hope and dream to those who are deprived of the opportunity to learn and practice sports by providing equipment, skills for education and training, and coaches for any Olympic sport; encouraging balanced development of Olympic sport in different regions, correcting the uneven medal distribution in the past Olympic Games that benefited a limited number of countries; and contributing to the promotion of friendship and understanding through sport and people-to-people interaction.” “Ultimately this project encourages participation of sport-loving people in the peace-building process.”
Dr. Choue’s proposal drew a keen and high interest among the participants in the forum.
The Sport Peace Corps concept was first raised by WTF President Choue at an international workshop on sports and peace in Leuven, Belgium, on Sept. 21, 2007. The workshop was jointly organized by KatholiekeUniversiteit Leuven, the International Peace Research Association and the Graduate School of Physical Education, Kyung Hee University in Korea. It was supported by the WTF and GCS International.
The opening ceremony of the international forum was held at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort on Dec. 5, with the attendance of H.S.H. Pronce Albert II of Monaco.
“Peace and sport will strive to convince political leaders, international organizations and key civil society players that sport can widely contribute to peace,” said Prince Albert II during the opening ceremony.
Peace and Sport is a world place initiative aimed at promoting the structuring values of education through sport, serving individuals and communities across the world. It is an organization governed by Monegasque law and settled in the Principality of Monaco.