30 October 2019 - Humankind shares fundamental values which are largely the same around the world. While educational systems may vary slightly in how they teach the various core subjects, there are no major differences on the basics of civics taught directly or indirectly at school. In essence, students learn, among other values, respect for one another in society, honesty, integrity and empathy, the power of teamwork, and the purpose and effect of rule of law in numerous tangible facets.
It is important to recognize this universality and the fact that the global community shares more similarities than differences. Indeed, while recognizing that there are varying degrees and experiences in this matter, the Sustainable Development Agenda of 2030 makes no distinction between different countries. Like the other goals to which the entire world aspires, the peace, justice and strong institutions to which SDG16 refer are needed everywhere.
For the first time in Europe, the Line Up, Live Up initiative has become an integral part of a municipality's regional and local policy frameworks, in what relates to public health and the prevention of violence and drug use among youth. Developed by the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration and its Youth Crime Prevention through Sports component, it has already been adopted in Member States in Asia, Africa and Latin America, promoting sports-based learning to share knowledge and build skills that young persons can apply in their daily lives. They become aware of the dangers of drugs, they learn how to say no and how to reject violence of all kinds.
At its request, the Spanish City of Santurtzi's Youth, Sports and Social Prevention department will pilot UNODC's Line Up, Live Up programme with over 100 students in two public schools, with the committed engagement of physical education teachers, school counsellors and parent associations over an initial period of two years. This will be followed by an impact assessment study and evaluation, with the support of local university and research institutions.
The well-attended launch at the city hall this month included representatives from parent associations, sports teachers, school directors and counsellors, students, and the Mayor of Santurtzi, Aintzane Urkijo, who remarked: "Santurtzi is proud of becoming part of the Global Programme, and we will continue investing in initiatives on the prevention of violence and drug use among youth." She also explained her interest in UNODC's method and of her city's attention to the empowerment of youth: "Our municipality has been active in promoting and implementing educational and social programmes, and we will continue to do so to support young people and our society."
This enthusiasm was echoed by Xabier Zuazo, a physical education teacher: "I am very excited with the Line Up, Live Up programme and the idea of using sports, not only for promoting physical health, but also for teaching students life skills and values that will help them stay away from drugs and violence, and will lead them to make good decisions in life."
Joseba Bidaurrazaga, Deputy Director of Bizkaia's Public Health prefecture, elaborated on the many facets of health which sports can impact: "Playing and having fun, and learning through playing is fundamental for young persons, for physical, mental, psychosocial and emotional health. Yes, sports can offer this learning platform, and this is why we found that Line Up, Live Up is an important initiative. We welcome the piloting of the programme in our municipality of Santurtzi."
UNODC will continue to support initiatives that promote the use of evidence-based programmes everywhere, explained Georgia Dimitropoulou, UNODC Criminal Justice and Crime Prevention Officer: "I was impressed by the Municipality of Santurtzi's approach, building on our Youth Crime Prevention through Sports programme and its Line Up, Live Up training. Engaging the relevant school and community actors, they have developed an inspiring, holistic crime prevention intervention programme for schools."
Youth Crime Prevention through Sports