Sports as a Tool for Peace: Memorandum of Understanding between UNODC and Ministry of Physical Culture and Sport of the Republic of Uzbekistan

7 June 2019, Tashkent Uzbekistan - The Ministry of Physical Culture and Sports of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Office for Central Asia signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in achieving further common goals in promoting sports and related activities as a tool to promote healthy lifestyles, life skills training and crime prevention among young people through sports.

"The initiative put forward by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan is aimed at creating conditions for young people to engage in mass sports. To involve at least 30% of young people from 14 to 30 years old in sports and physical education is the goal. To achieve such results, we need to properly promote sports among the population."- said Mr. Dilmurod Nabiev, Minister of Physical Culture and Sports of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

«UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia is committed to prevent crime, especially among youth. Using sports, UNODC works to reduce anti-social behaviour by building important life skills that increase adaptive and positive attitude among youth and healthy lifestyle» - highlighted Ms. Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia.

The Memorandum will serve as the basis for the further cooperation between two organizations in such important aspects of working with young people and their mentors as:

• Developing and implementing an awareness raising campaign to promote sports as a tool for preventing crime among young people, including the prevention of substance use, as well as promoting healthy lifestyles, education and social integration through the UNODC's "Line up Live up!" Initiative.

• Improving the skills and capacity building of sports teachers / trainers by using sports and sports activities for the preventing of crime among young people and setting positive life goals.

The activities of UNODC are supported by the Global Programme on Implementation of the Doha Declaration aimed at helping countries to achieve a positive and sustainable impact in preventing youth crime through sports-based programmes and life-skills trainings.

As part of its efforts to support the implementation of the Doha Declaration, UNODC has launched a global youth crime prevention initiative that builds on the power of sports as a tool for peace. The initiative aims to promote sports and related activities to prevent crime and to effectively build resilience of at-risk youth. Strengthening the life skills of youth is a key objective in order to minimize risk factors and maximize protective factors related to crime, violence and drug use. By enhancing knowledge of the consequences of crime and substance abuse and developing life skills, the initiative seeks to positively influence behaviour and attitudes of at-risk youth and prevent anti-social and risky behaviour.

Line Up Live Up - UNODC's evidence-informed and sports-based life skills training curriculum - has been designed as a unique tool that transfers the accumulated expertise of the United Nations and other partners in implementing life skills training for crime and drug use prevention to sport settings. 

Through the Line Up Live Up programme, sports coaches, teachers and others working with youth in sports settings can target valuable life skills, such as resisting social pressures to engage in delinquency, coping with anxiety and communicating effectively with peers, through a set of interactive and fun exercises. The training programme has been first tested and piloted in Brazil in 2017 and will be implemented in a number of countries across the world, including those in Africa, Central Asia, the Middle East and South America. 

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