The 11th edition of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) is celebrated on 6th April across the planet. Eleven years in which sport and its capacity to profoundly change society have been in the spotlight, eleven years in which the International Judo Federation has made its contribution to building a fairer society.

The challenge is big and it goes far beyond the purely sporting framework. All these years have seen a notable evolution in the perception of sport by the people, but also by their leaders. The recent conference organised at the United Nations headquarters in New York City is a perfect illustration of this. It made it possible to put back at the centre of the debate the advantages of sport to promote the development of a peaceful and inclusive society, which is the theme of the IDSDP 2024.

This promotion is included in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Among the 17 SDGs, many of them find particular resonance in the sporting world; to name just a few: high quality education, gender equality, reduced inequalities, peace, justice and strong institutions.

Especially today, where the world is in turmoil caused by open conflict and is threatened by climate change, sport can help to achieve the SDGs. As was underlined during the NYC conference, years ago, those subjects were only talked about among the diplomatic community. Today, the whole of society is aware of the necessity to change the paradigm of humanity and good practices are shared among a wider audience.

In 2024, only 15% of the SDGs have been completed. The road is still very long ahead and the fight against racism, gender inequality or climate change is far from being won.

For years judo has been active on many fronts and has offered a significant contribution to millions of people accros the globe, helping them to develop tolerance, resilience, harmony and solidarity, uniting people beyond their differences, and fostering dreams of stability and hope. The IJF has been promoting programmes such as Judo for Peace, Judo for Refugees, and Judo for Children, which are based on strict non-discrimnation policies.

With the 11th edition of the IDSDP, judo is engaged fully to work towards improving people's lives. Through teamwork, solidarity and fair play, the judo family will continue to unite generations and work for the benefit of the youth. By targeting physical and mental health, we are not only talking about change, but we are the protagonists of the change that is deeply needed.

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