HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco
Basel Peace Office is engaged in a number of initiatives to use sport as a vehicle for peace, in particular to help reach across political divides, civil conflicts and ethnic/religious differences to reinforce our common humanity and build the conditions for a peaceful and nuclear-weapons-free world.
Sports are particularly effective for youth who may grow up in an environment of hate and intolerance to those on the other side of civil conflicts – but they often share a passion for the same sports and admire the same sports stars. Thus, playing sports together – and bringing sports stars to meet them to promote peace – can have a transformative impact on them.
Sports for Peace draws from the ideals and inspiration of the Olympic Truce, established with the original Olympics in 9th century BC Greece, and also from the more recent Olympic Charter, adopted when the Olympics were re-established in the 19th Century. The Charter notes that "The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of 'man', with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity." The Olympic torch is carried around the world prior to the games as a proclamation of peace.
Basel Peace Office participates in key events of Peace and Sport, established by Prince Albert of Monaco, including key conferences and sports events. Basel Peace Office Director Alyn Ware, for example, has ran the New York marathon as a member of the Peace and Sport marathon team to raise awareness and funds for peace in Israel/Palestine (see Brooklyn student interviews Peace and Sport marathon runner).
The first event of the Basel Peace Office was the Basel Run for Peace which raised approximately 2000 CHF for the Basel Peace Office programs and highlighted a number of Peace and Sport themes.
Basel Peace Office is planning a workshop in mid 2013 for youth peace workers/campaigners/educators on Using sports and games to bridge conflicts and build peace. The workshop will include sessions on conflict resolution, simulated games, cooperation games, presentation skills, sports for peace concepts, sports/games event organising and promotion. It would include planning and preparation for youth trainers/speakers to provide presentations and workshops for gymnasiums, youth conferences and other youth networks/forums/events.
For more information on sports and peace see:
- Juggling and the Kashmir-Jammu Conflict, by Alyn Ware in SGI Quarterly, April 2008
- Sports and Peace – Bridge-builder or Oxymoron? by Alyn Ware, Global Campaign for Peace Education editorial, July 2011.
- Basel Run for Peace
- A Kiwi runs for Peace at the New York Marathon
- L’organisation pour la Paix par le Sport (Peace and Sport)
- United Nations Office: Sport for Development and Peace