The concept of sport for development has become an integral part of development agendas around the world and has been incorporated in various ways into them. Recognized as a powerful contributor to the empowerment of communities and to their social progress, especially for youth, sport has an overwhelmingly positive effect on those who practice it. For the past four years, UNODC's Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration has been working on crime prevention through several components, benefitting hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world. With its Youth Crime Prevention through Sports component, UNODC has focused on engaging youth from marginalized and at-risk communities, promoting sports while inculcating and strengthening positive life skills and values which can help young people better navigate daily challenges in life.
The world is not stationary: it is forever-changing, and we are changing with it. The rule of law does not necessarily mean that we will be utilizing a perfect system of laws which can be applicable anytime, anywhere; new laws are written, some laws become obsolete, and others are adapted. Ideally, in a perfect world, the rule of law should guarantee a continuous pursuit of our evolution on what is just or unjust, what is right or wrong, and what is moral or immoral. Rule of law and its promotion means that despite the system's imperfections, we try to make a world a better place where we have equal opportunities for freedom, education, and life itself, and where justice can actually be served.
Physical activities are an integral part of education in most countries today, and the popularity of different sports is universal, whether played in teams or individually. Increasingly, the practice of sports is also seen as one of the tools which can bring a crucial benefit to society: the prevention of violent extremism.
The Line Up, Live Up initiative, developed by the Youth Crime Prevention through Sports component of UNODC's Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration, stems from the premise that sports can be a vehicle to increase young people's resilience to crime, violence and drug use. Through meaningful engagement with youth in marginalized areas or from disadvantaged backgrounds, Line Up, Live Up packs life skills training and physical activities during ten sessions with especially trained coaches.
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. 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.
Empowering the next generation to change the world is neither an easily definable mission nor a simple task, but it certainly is a prerequisite to achieving the ambitious Sustainable Development Agenda. While students at the tertiary level are often already aware of - and reasonably informed about - the challenges facing the global community and have ideas about what they want to do, many may feel they have not yet found the ideal avenue through which to pursue their professional aspirations.
It launched last week at the renowned Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, a historic institution from which many women and men have graduated to take up positions of leadership in various international careers, shaping the trajectory of the modern world.