Qatar's Permanent Delegation to the United Nations, together with the Permanent Delegation of Monaco, the United Nations Department of Global Communication, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the United Nations Office for Partnerships organised an event on the occasion of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace at the UN headquarters in New York.
The aim of the event was to celebrate the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, and to raise awareness of the significant, tangible and positive contribution of sport to the goals of sustainable development.
The event's organisers also sought to inspire influential individuals and sport-related institutions to commit themselves to playing a role in advancing the goals of sustainable development.
Qatar's Permanent Representative to the UN, HE Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif al-Thani, welcomed the participants and said that Qatar will host the World Cup 2022 for the first time in the Middle East, describing it as a great opportunity for the region and the Arab world.
She stressed that the event acts as an incentive for Qatar and the region to advance social progress, to build a better tomorrow for future generations.
In this context, she highlighted the "Generation Amazing" initiative launched by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC). She explained that this initiative seeks to enhance the ability of sport to encourage social change and break social barriers, and seeks to use the game of football for development and for addressing social issues in countries with specific needs, in line with the goals of sustainable development.
Sheikha Alya also noted that Qatar is one of the few countries that dedicated a national day of sport and expressed Qatar's deep belief that the world is a better place when people gather through sport to advance and grow societies.
She also expressed the Qatar's firm belief that sport was key to the empowerment of women and girls, peaceful families and communities and, as a result, to the implementation of sustainable development goals.
For her part, Deputy UN Secretary-General Amina Ahmed said that sports could help promote respect, and can contribute to empowering women and youth, in addition to the role it can play in promoting health.
She added that the United Nations recognises the power of sports in achieving common goals.
She added that realising the goals of the 2030 sustainable development plan will require strong partnerships between all segments of society, especially young people and communities.
In this context, she referred to the work of the United Nations with the International Olympic Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games to raise global awareness of the goals of sustainable development.
She also noted the work done with FIFA to raise awareness of the goals of sustainable development.
For his part, Secretary-General of the SC Hassan al-Thawadi said that Qatar, the host of World Cup 2022, is doing all it can to make the event about more than football.
He said that the competition will help to culturally connect the Middle East with the rest of the world.
He also reviewed the steps taken by Qatar in terms of completing the required infrastructure for the project and highlighted the legislation adopted by the country to guarantee the rights of expat workers.
The event was attended by Permanent Envoy of Monaco to the UN ambassador Isabelle Pico of Monaco and the National Basketball Association among other personalities and organisations.