HRH Prince Feisal Issues Call to Action
Generations For Peace Founder and Chairman tells International Forum on Sport, Peace and Development, “we are making a difference”
Amman, Jordan, 12 May 2011: HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein issued a rousing call to action during his keynote address on the second day of the International Forum on Sport, Peace and Development in the United Natons Headquarters in Geneva yesterday, appealing to delegates to “take another great leap forward in our mission together.”
Entitled, ‘For a Sporting Route to Conflict Resolution’, HRH Prince Feisal’s speech highlighted the three most important lessons learned while implementing Generations For Peace programmes on the ground: there is no such thing as singular best practice; sport is not a cure-all or panacea; and integration is key. But far from holding up Generations For Peace as a model for other peace through sport initiatives to emulate, Prince Feisal emphasised the importance of collaboration and sharing experience in order to move the field of sport for peace and development forward.
HRH Prince Feisal said, “We have learned some useful lessons through our experiences, and I know that you and many others also have useful experiences from which we can all learn. My call to action for us all today is this: let us work together. Let’s share and develop and cascade our range of best practices together. And let’s take another great leap forward in our mission to bring sustainable peace, safety, security and smiles to our world – together.”
HRH Prince Feisal gave a powerful account of Generations For Peace’s most significant findings in the three years the peace through sport organisation has been operating in the field. “There is no such thing as singular best practice”
Citing the success of certified Generations For Peace Pioneer Zahid’s work in the Jalozai IDPs camp in Pakistan, and, specifically, the meticulous planning and preparation at its foundation, HRH Prince Feisal underlined the critical importance of understanding the local context: “No programme, or approach, or solution will map onto every single conflict scenario. So our challenge is to understand and embrace this complexity and identify a range of best practices for different contexts. As sport for peace and development practitioners, we must deepen our appreciation of the important nuances of different contexts.
“Sport is not a cure-all or panacea”
HRH Prince Feisal went on to explain that, while sport can be an important agent of change, it cannot achieve sustainable peace without effective support: “Sport is a universal language, because it speaks to us all on a basic, human level. Used correctly it can provide a powerful contribution to peace building and development efforts. But sport cannot achieve major change alone. Our Pioneers [in Bosnia and Herzegovina] realised they had to prepare their programmes hand in hand with different faith communities, religious leaders and with support from political leaders from all sides.
“In Serbia, our programmes are tied in with a resurgence of the volunteering movement. This is the perfect basis for the peace building messages that our Pioneers are delivering through sport activities to young volunteers.”
“Integration is key”
HRH Prince Feisal’s final message to the audience of International Olympic Committee members, including President Jacques Rogge, United Nations officials, including Special Advisor Wilfred Lemke, sport for peace and development practitioners, and academia, reiterated the importance of integration. He emphasised that sport is at its most effective when it is part of a comprehensive, integrated peace building strategy: “Regular, fun sport activities provide the platform and peer group support mechanism for setting new routines and effecting behaviour change over time. But it requires real integration of the values and education objectives into the sport situation itself if it is to be properly captured. Our Generations For Peace curriculum is one attempt to provide the principles, the skills and tools which our Pioneers need to allow them to integrate education on conflict resolution and peace building.”
It was the second time HRH Prince Feisal has presented at the International Forum on Sport, Peace and Development and Generations For Peace is committed to building on the achievements already made in partnership with the forum organisers, the International Olympic Committee and the United Nations.
Additional background information:
Generations For Peace is the international non-governmental organisation founded by HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein of Jordan in 2007 and dedicated to the innovative and sustainable use of sport for peace building and development. It has grown rapidly and now supports delegates and certified Generations For Peace Pioneers in communities facing a variety of forms of conflict in 46 countries and territories.
526 delegates have been trained through the Generations For Peace Pioneer Certification Programme, at seven intensive 10-day camps in Amman, Abu Dhabi and Sochi.
Cascading their learning and experience on to over 4,200 second-generation pioneers and delegates, their Generations For Peace programmes have now touched the lives of 62,000 children. Recently the first ever third-generation delegates embarked on their journey towards becoming certified Generations For Peace Pioneers.
Generations For Peace is one of only two peace through sport organisations officially recognised by the International Olympic Committee: the other is Right To Play.