St. Kitts – Nevis Merges Peace With Sports Development

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Basseterre, St. Kitts
September 23, 2008 (SKNIS)

The Ministry of Tourism, Sports and Culture is set to employ new techniques to promote positive behaviour and peaceful attitudes in the young people of St. Kitts and Nevis.

Director of Sports Dave Connor got firsthand knowledge of these methods while participating in the three-day UNESCO Congress on Sports for Peace and Development held in Jamaica.

Director Connor told SKNIS that the September 13 to 16 meeting was extremely productive, as he joined with representatives from approximately 22 countries in the Caribbean, Europe, South America, Africa and Asia, to discuss and highlight pertinent issues regarding sports as a vehicle to promote peace and development.

As such, discussions surrounded presentations by various international organizations and committees to review the issues coming out of the recent round table held in Zanzibar, Tanzania, to reflect on the theme “Sport for Development and Peace”, and its role within a multi-sectoral approach.

Additionally, delegates from CARICOM member states caucused to bring a regional view of concerns to the body and ways in which such can be addressed.

At the end of the September 14 to 16 congress, co-sponsors of the meeting UNESCO and the Jamaican Government, signed a resolution document dubbed the “Kingston Declaration” which called for national Governments to give priority to the provision of financial resources for the establishment of sports facilities, particularly at the community level, to bridge social barriers and foster national development and peace.

The ratification of the International Anti-Doping Convention, greater collaboration between the Ministries of Sport and Education in producing robust physical education programmes in schools, as well as tying sports and culture closely together in order to emphasize the importance of traditional sport/games and national identity were also recommended.

Mr. Connor noted that the St. Kitts and Nevis Government, headed by Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas, is a firm believer in personal development through sports and as such, has many of the recommendations already in place through various local initiatives. He added that other resolutions including an expanded role for CARICOM in promoting sport for peace and development, as well as the drafting of a UNESCO Policy Paper on Sport for Peace and Development were intriguing outcomes.

Connor pledged to review his Department’s current programmes and policies and explore where they can be made more effective based on the many suggestions generated during the networking at the sports congress.

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