September 20 2002
Global Peace Games 2002 for Children and Youth
Innsbruck (20 September 2002) - The 2002 Global Peace Games for Children and Youth will take place in 29 countries around the world on or around September 21, the United Nations International Day of Peace. The friendly soccer games are locally organised, planned and financed by non-governmental organisations to celebrate the centrality of children and youth in the United Nations International Decade for Peace and Non-violence 2001 to 2010. SOS Children's Villages will play a leading role in this remarkable international event.
The Games 2002 will be the third of its kind. The first was held in New York City in 1999. In 2001 the Global Peace Games expanded in scope and where held in more than 26 countries around the world with thousands of children participating. The NGO Play Soccer in partnership with SOS Children's Villages and with support of FIFA, played the leading role in inviting non-governmental organisations to form the coalition that launched the Global Peace Games 2001 for Children and Youth. Several SOS Children's Villages in many countries participated in the games and served as venues for friendly soccer matches.
This year's coalition of NGOs who volunteered to coordinate, participate in, communicate about, advocate or support the Global Peace Games 2002 are Play Soccer, SOS Children's Villages and FIFA, Olympic Aid and the U.S. Youth Soccer Association.
As in the year before, various SOS Children's Village facilities will actively participate in the Games, will invite children and youth from the neighbouring communities and provide football pitches for the friendly games, e.g. SOS facilities in Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya, Morocco, Malawi, Mauritius, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Cambodia, India, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania.
The Games are a fun, recreational opportunity for children and youth to show their leadership, commitment and personal involvement from the "grass roots" of their communities in support of the ideals of global friendship, and to demonstrate the values that they can learn and practice on the field and in daily life to make the world a better place.
As the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr Kofi Annan, states in his message to the 2002 Games: "A well-organised match is a study in competition and, at the same time, a fine example of cooperation, respect for one another and for the rules. Indeed, cooperation, respect for one another and for the rules and norms of the community are essential at all levels of human activity, form the local to the global. I applaud the organisers of the Global Peace Games for Children and Youth for their continuing efforts to encourage the growth of a culture of peace and non-violence for the children of the world."
Mr Adolf Ogi, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General on Sport for Development and Peace in his message to the Games 2002: "I applaud you for seeking to enlist the powerful and universal language of sport in the effort to develop a culture of global friendship, peace and non-violence. I hope you will all enjoy speaking this language and be able to hear its message in your hearts and minds."
* * *Contact SOS-Kinderdorf International:
Ms Michaela Schalk
+email@example.comFurther information available at:Website of the Play Soccer organisation