UNESCO’s Director General, Irina Bokova, and the President of Málaga Club de Fútbol, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani, signed an agreement at the Picasso Museum of Málaga on 1st June 2011, which aims to promote a culture of peace through sport, the internet and social networks.
“Imagine Peace” is the slogan of the agreement, in which UNESCO and Málaga CF will use their networks and communities to promote actions in favour of intercultural dialogue, education, and the fight against doping and racism.
“This partnership is based on the desire to promote the values and objectives of drug-free sport, and the desire to have a racism and discrimination-free society. It’s about imagining peace and making it a reality,” declared Irina Bokova.
“Our shared objective is to use the values of sport to educate people, young and old. That is the principal motivation of the agreement. The training of a young sportsperson must not only be about developing their individual and collective technical ability, it must also be about installing the great values if sport such as the desire to excel, companionship, and respect,” affirmed Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani.
Both parties will use their resources to inspire young people in a new way to think about peace. It’s about using the internet, and in particular, the social networks, in promoting the key UNESCO values, such as intercultural dialogue and the importance of education.
It’s also about contributing to the creation of a racism-free environment, where boys and girls grow up with equal opportinities; installing a social awareness in young people using the methods of communication that they use, that’s to say the internet and social networks; and putting into practice the UNESCO Convention against doping in sport.
A bipartisan commision formed by representatives of UNESCO and Malaga CF will ensure, through various different activities, that these objective are carried out. The Academy, the training centre for young Málaga CF footballers, will be one of the places where these aims become a reality. There are 15 teams currently in action, meaning there’s a total of 500 players between 16 and 19 years old. Both UNESCO and the Málaga club will carry out online awareness campaigns. Also it will develop e-publicatons to interact with young people.
This association will be visible every weekend on the pitch as the players of the First Division side wear shirts emblazoned with the UNESCO stamp. The logo will also be visible at La Rosaleda, which has a capacity of 29,000 spectators, as well as on the Club’s website, on members’ cards, and on all communications documents.