The UN Member States (Ecuador, Morocco, Botswana) along with the World Youth Group likes to propose April 6th to 9th of every year as ‘International Sports Week’. Combination of the two international days; April 6th: International Day of Sports for peace and development (A/RES/67/296) and April 7th: World Health Day (WHA\A.2\Res/.35), complements each other and collectively contribute to accomplishing the goals of this Week, and the internationals days itself.
This policy requests governments and the UN to invest in sports. There is scientific evidence that sports and physical activities are effective tools to foster good health and well-being, particularly emotional and mental well-being.
In the framework of the Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs) that was adopted in 2015, this proposal highlights the importance of sports to all the SDGs.
Raise awareness and find resources to emotional and mental health issues, particularly in youth.
Dedicating a week to sports, apart from the conventional academic physical education classes, will be a celebration and upliftment to overcome stress and ease their minds and body. The academic pressure has only increased over time along with the pressure from parents and academic institutions. This week will help create an environment for students to emotionally and mentally bond with fellow students, and teachers. The data on student self-harm stemming from academic pressure and lack of personal connectivity with fellow students and teachers is alarming. Sports have the potential to bond and build relationships. Peer pressure has also resulted in severe mental and emotional stress, including thousands of cases of self-harming, among youth, globally. Sports and physical activities build harmony, team, and emotional support.
Emotional and Mental health has become a severe global health crisis, particularly among the youth. According to the WHO, “globally, depression is one of the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents, suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in 15-19-year-olds (WHO 2021). Furthermore, the WHO report of Oct’8,2021, shows the lack of progress in leadership, governance, and financing. According to the report, “In 2020, just 51% of WHO’s 194 Member States reported that their mental health policy or plan was in line with international and regional human rights instruments, way short of the 80% target. And only 52% of countries met the target relating to mental health promotion and prevention programs, also well below the 80% target.” (WHO,2021).
The World Youth Group, along with its Ambassadorial Advisory Board, and interested Member States foresee its severity and launched the “I AM WITH YOU Campaign” on February 24, 2020, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. In December 2020, the Committee on SDG-3 of the WYG, developed two global policies; Professional Development Program, and Sports As A Tool.
April 6th is International Sports Day. [ (A/RES/67/296) ]
April 7th World Health Day. [ (WHA/A.2/Res.35) ]