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Bouzou hails UAE’s vision and leadership in using sport to achieve peace

Foundation addresses issues like drugs and violence

Gulf News

Dubai: The President and Founder of Peace and Sport has hailed the leadership of the UAE for upholding the principles of peace and using sport as a powerful tool to achieve the same.

“For years, the United Arab Emirates has shown the rest of the world that it is possible to live as one people. I believe there are more than 200 different nationalities living here in total peace and harmony and it is here that Dubai stands out as an example to the rest of the world,” Joel Bouzou, Founder and President, Peace and Sport, told the media at the pre-event conference at the JW Marriott Marquis on Monday.

The Peace and Sport Forum has taken up a range of initiatives all over the world in an attempt to foster peace between communities. The latest is a commission set up between seven South American countries meant to tackle drug issues and violence among youth.

“People who have been divided by time have now discovered they can live in peace. One of the most significant aspects is that various international federations have realised the power they have and the role they can play by initiating various programmes that are not necessarily sport-related. The federations now understand they can contribute and this is important,” Bouzou said.

“Leaders from across the world now see the need to use sport to attract the youth. I have a lot of hope for this region. This region will not only contribute to peace and harmony in this region but to the whole world,” he added.

Dr Ahmad Sa’ad Al Sharif, Chairman, Organising Committee and General Secretary, Dubai Sports Council (DSC), lauded the work and vision being put in by the UAE leaders claiming it is in sync with basic values of this country.

“Ever since we began talks with this forum, it was always our intention to do something special for world peace through this event in Dubai. And the fact that we have so many nationalities living together as one proves this point,” Dr Al Sharif noted.

“Today, we have more than 41 per cent of the population in Dubai involved in some sport activity. We believe that a healthy community is in a better position to contribute to peace and overall growth of a country,” he added.

“Dubai is an example of living in a peaceful environment. Dubai has always believed that sport is a fantastic tool. It is an example for the whole world. For us, sport is not just sport. It is much more. It is a universal language. It can speak even if you don’t belong to the same region or religion or social status. One can mutually understand each other. It is a unique phenomenon,” Dr Al Sharif said.