United Nations Peacekeeping assists in the planning, preparing, managing and directing UN peacekeeping operations, so that they can effectively fulfill their mandates under the overall authority of the Security Council and General Assembly, and under the command vested in the Secretary-General. United Nations peacekeeping is a unique and dynamic instrument developed by the Organization as a way to help countries torn by conflict create the conditions for lasting peace. UN peacekeeping continues to evolve, both conceptually and operationally, to meet new challenges and political realities. The Organization has worked vigorously to strengthen its capacity to manage and sustain field operations and, thus, contribute to the most important function of the United Nations – maintaining international peace and security.
Although the military remain the backbone of most peacekeeping operations, the many faces of peacekeeping now include administrators and economists, police officers and legal experts, deminers and electoral observers, human rights monitors and specialists in civil affairs and governance, humanitarian workers and experts in communications and public information. Increasingly, UN peacekeepers are using sport in the framework of their activities.
1. Partnership between DPKO, UNOSDP and the IOC
In January 2006 IOC President Jacques Rogge, then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and then Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace Adolf Ogi suggested three countries (and respective peacekeeping operations) as locations for pilot Sport and Peace projects: Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), Liberia (UNMIL). In April 2006 a Code Cable was sent to all UN peacekeeping missions requesting information on the use of sport in the framework of their activities.
2. United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC)
“Jeux de la Paix”, Kinshasa, 6-20 August 2006. Objective: promoting an atmosphere of peace and reconciliation following the first round of historic presidential and legislative elections on 30 July 2006 and prior to the announcement of the official election results on 20 August 2006.
3. United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL)
“Sport for Peace” Programme in 15 counties during 5 weeks from 2 March to 7 April 2007. Objective: contribute to peace-building, national reconciliation and harmony in Liberia.
4. United Nations Integrated Mission In Timor-Leste (UNMIT)
Bicycle race “Tour de Timor”, 24-28 August 2009. UNMIT provided logistical and security support to the Tour, which promoted Timor-Leste as a place of peace and national unity.
5. United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI)
Construction of a football field in the village of Trainou through UNOCI and Pakistani peacekeeping forces (December 2009).
Rehabilitation of the Yamoussoukro Sports Centre through UNOCI and Bangladeshi peacekeeping forces (July 2009).
“Festival des arts martiaux pour la paix” (28 June 2009): organized together with the national judo, karate and Chinese martial arts federations. Around 20 athletes read peace messages, while marching and practicing their arts. Objectives: increase public awareness of Sport for Peace benefits, demonstrate the importance of, and the United Nations engagement in conflict resolution through sport activities; offer a platform for exchange to the competitors/athletes; confirm sport’s mobilizing role.
“Tournoi de football de la paix” in Bouaké (June 2009): For the first time since the beginning of the conflict, both the Forces Armées des Forces nouvelles and the Forces de Défense et de Sécurité played in the same team wearing the same uniform. Objective: confirm sport’s role in rallying the country around a common denominator; UNOCI support to the national reconciliation and reunification process.
Journalist workshop on the contribution of sport for social cohesion and peace (19 May 2009): Objectives: reinforce the abilities of sport journalists (40 from press and TV) for their role in relaying the process of national reconciliation and consolidating a peaceful climate for transparent elections.
“Course de pirogue pour la paix” (21 March 2009): Partnership with the “Agence de Coopération Technique Francophone et la Francophonie”. Athletes wore UNOCI T-shirts with “Avançons sur la route de la paix” imprints and read out peace messages.
Visit of the Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace, Wilfried Lemke (23 - 27 October 2008): UNOCI organized a field trip to Bouaké, meetings with national federations and governmental authorities; participation of Mr. Lemke in the Run for Peace alongside Principle Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Abou Moussa, in the presence of the Ivorian Minister of Youth, Sport and Leisure, H.E. Mr. Dagobert Banzio.
“Tournoi sport et paix”, organized by UNOCI and FIKDA (2008): Objective: offer a platform of exchange to the competitors/athletes; lean on existing activities to reinforce social cohesion.
Coupe d’Afrique des Nations 2008: screenings of matches in San Pedro, Man, Bondoukou and Attécoubé with the help of local authorities and NGOs. Objectives: increase public awareness on UNOCI’s mandate (before and during half-time), show the importance of, and the United Nations engagement in conflict resolution through sport activities.
First “Tour cycliste de la Paix” in 2007: UNOCI provided transportation of the national and international cyclists from the city of Man to Yamoussoukro as well as sponsorship of the "White Jersey of Peace" for the youngest rider.
Côte d’Ivoire vs. Madagascar qualifying game for the 2008 African Cup of Nations on 3 June 2007 in Bouaké: logistical, medical and security support from UNOCI towards game organization. Joint UNOCI-UNDP press and TV campaign “Avec la paix, nous marquons tous des buts” with Didier Drogba, UNDP Goodwill Ambassador and captain of the Ivorian national football team. Objectives: increase public awareness of peace benefits; demonstrate the importance and UNOCI engagement towards conflict resolution with sport activities; encourage the population to work towards peace and social cohesion.
2006 Football World Cup: UNOCI organized public viewing of matches on wide screens in Zuénoula, Odienné, Daloa, Bouaké, Bondoukou and Abidjan. Peace messages and information regarding UNOCI’s mandate were delivered before the games and during half-time. Objectives: increase public awareness on UNOCI mandate; sensitize the population on the purpose of sport for peace in countries in crisis or out of it; encourage population to get involved in crisis solving; confirm the rallying role of sport.
Programmatic Focal Point:
Ms. Grace Kpohazounde
Political Affairs Officer
Office of the Under-Secretary-General