The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace recognizes the power of sport to drive social development and promote tolerance, respect and social inclusion - areas reflected in UNODC's own work under the Doha Declaration Global Programme.
As the lead United Nations organization to combat and prevent crime and drug use, UNODC recently launched a unique initiative, making the link between sport, life-skills development and crime prevention. Through building on the wide reach, positive values and popularity among youth that sport has, the organization uses this as a vehicle for transferring life-skills to young people that live in crime-prone neighbourhoods.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of young people participate in Model United Nations (MUN) simulations across the globe. Reaching students at all levels, MUNs offer a popular way to learn about the UN - and for the Organization to reach tomorrow's leaders. As part of its Education for Justice (E4J) initiative, UNODC is looking to tap into the power of MUNs to educate students on the concept of the rule of law and how this issue is discussed and dealt with at an international level.
Around this, an Expert Group Meeting was held in Vienna to help further develop a forthcoming UNODC Guide for organizers of MUNs. Bringing together a diverse group of people, the meeting included students who had previously taken part in MUNs and organizers from different parts of the world in order to take into account unique perspectives.
Opened in 2011, the Estrutural Olympic and Paralympic Centre offers members of this impoverished and vulnerable community built around a landfill on the outskirts of Brasilia a safe and healthy space. With UNODC's own programme using sports to help prevent youth from becoming involved in crime and drugs now underway, we visited this centre to speak some of the people there and hear their story:
Tatiana, a mother of two who says that sports offers a safe space away from street violence; Ana Julia, 11, who has seen improvements in her health since coming to a sports centre; Guilherme, 13, who goes to the centre almost every day after school and says that his studies have improved; and Romualdo, a teaching and learning manager at the Estrutural Olympic and Paralympic Centre, who says that sport is essential in building citizenship and learning key values in life.
In mid-March, Ecuador's Council for Public Participation and Social Control ( Consejo de Participación Ciudadana y Control Social - CPCCS), in collaboration with UNODC, organized a series of anti-corruption capacity-building events in Quito. These included two academic seminars for professors and students as well as a seminar for private sector actors. During all three, UNODC presented the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative, emphasizing the forthcoming integrity and ethics university modules. The presentation was designed to introduce E4J and particularly its focus on integrity and ethics education, to encourage the formation of networks of integrity and ethics academics, and to highlight tools and materials that are available to ethics educators. All three seminar presentations were followed by an open discussion.
Herbert Gustavo Simões, 46, is a Professor at the Catholic University of Brasilia with postdoctoral research experience at University of Miami in the area of physical education and exercise physiology. He is also a keen sporting enthusiast, currently ranked as one of the world's fastest 110 metre hurdlists in his age bracket.
Herbert is one of two lead trainers working with UNODC in Brazil as part of the Doha Declaration Global Programme sports initiative which looks to build vital life skills among 13 - 18 year olds to keep them safe from violence, crime and drugs.