By Jose Benzaquen Ambassador of Peru
For decades, sports have been one of the key elements that help improve human’s physical activity and ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It continues to help us strive to be better in every aspect of our life; bringing along positivity, highlighting a sense of competition governed by a set of rules that teach us how to be disciplined as well as maintaining a strong and healthy mental health.
In the early days, physical activities were seen as leisure, a hobby and a product of modernity. They were inherited by the nature of Homo sapiens; as a necessity and an added value to the overall well-being and lifestyle. Historically, both the Greeks and Romans had considered sports an inevitable tradition that helped strengthen social relations between all social class, gender, ethnicity and kinship.
In addition, sports continue to embody friendship, respect, and tolerance, among others. They are everything that unites us, and transmits the exchange of admiration and cultural understanding creating a peaceful coexistence between nations.
Sports play a huge factor in the major aspects of public policy and diplomacy. They are always in the foreground for every society, creating specialists who carry out efforts for a common goal. It brings along different advantages such as the integral development of our youth as well as the rest of the populations. It is an important element for the development of countries and one that greatly benefits our established societies.
I believe that it is a fundamental aspect that we as nations, are committed to constantly promote for the good of all societies with the help of our leaders and commanders and representatives such as National and International Olympic Committees whose mission is to ensure the success of the organisation of all games worldwide. Qatar is the perfect example that throughout the years has demonstrated its focus and dedication to the promotion of all the different types of sports by hosting numerous events: from Tennis Championship to the World Athletics Championship in 2019 to the upcoming World Cup 2022.
Sport diplomacy carries along a wild perspective in the diplomatic and sport arena. Thanks to our ministries of foreign affairs which contain a large networking system all over the world concluded by the different embassies, international organisations and consulates that use the universal passions in order to bring people together and create dialogue and enhance the role of the communities. It is a strategic aspect of our work to continue to promote the practice of sports abroad by creating a strong interaction between nations.
Sports unite us and promote greater friendships. It is the complement of having a happy life as it boosts both our physical and emotional health. My country, Peru, does it with many sports, and I must be grateful for the opportunity that other international players give us, coinciding with the start of qualifications for the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
It also reflects good patriotism, a more egalitarian society and without distinctions. In the world of sports, everyone has the opportunity to come together and to be alike. In the world of sports, there is no room for racism, intolerance and hatred. Thanks to international organisations we are on a good path, avoiding violence and with the permanent and main objective of having the good of world society.
We are born playing something, whether we are walking or running, we compete and only certain public policy guidelines are needed. The important language of sports is unity and participation, where we all win. It is the important way in which a country projects itself to the world and a fundamental way of understanding and promoting peace.
In this way, so-called sports diplomacy is being conceived, and diplomacy is being understood as a relevant profession of promoting the interests of a state or government against others.
Moreover, having as its purpose the achievement of peace and co-operation agreements and bringing the leadership of international relations through negotiation.
Sports diplomacy uses a global language to strengthen relations between nations and its peoples. We believe that it does not find discrepant issues; rather, it becomes a modality or instrument that breaks down barriers and limitations.
Diplomacy does not stop being the projection of internal politics of a country with other actors such as international organisations. In our days, we also speak of a digital diplomacy, a parliamentary diplomacy, local government diplomacy, a corporate diplomacy, as well as a relevant presidential diplomacy (heads of state).
It should also be noted that international events help promote other sectors and the different aspects. Furthermore, it gives us the opportunity to showcase our developments, attractions, museums, new or recovered cities (such as Msheireb Dowtown Doha in Qatar) and unique sports facilities (stadiums), related to a noble detachment (donations) in favour of less developed countries.
The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will be a meeting of all peoples and nations, and we are absolutely sure that it will be an unforgettable celebration of friendship between all nations.
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