Joël Bouzou, President and Founder of Peace and Sport, met recently with HE Mr Iván Duque, President of the Republic of Colombia. The meeting focused on the agreement signed in 2018 in the presence of his predecessor HE Mr Juan Manuel Santos also winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016 and HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. This Memorandum of Understanding between the Principality and the Republic of Colombia designates Peace and Sport as implementation partner and promotes the development of sports activities for social inclusion in Colombia.

The meeting broached the collaboration between Peace and Sport and the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and joint activities in Colombia benefiting to vulnerable youth. This program, set up in the “Casas Ludicas”, youth centres located in all the regions of the country, prevent the most vulnerable communities from engaging in violence and armed conflict. It is a continuation of ten years of peace-through-sport activities led by Peace and Sport in the country, in partnership with many Colombian actors. President Duque wanted new structures to benefit from Sport Simple Solutions, the Peace and Sport methodology being digitized by the start-up MyCoach.

“Equality does not exist, but Peace and Sport can foster the conditions of equity for all young people, and especially the most marginalised, thanks to Sport Simple in order to give the more talented ones a chance to succeed in sport, but also in other sectors where talent can be expressed. The goal is to leave no one on the side of the road, a belief that President Duque and I share,” Joël Bouzou said.

This meeting also evoked the launch of the first business through sport initiative in Colombia. Since 2018, Peace and Sport laid the foundations of this innovative programme with the Cartagena-based Foundation Amigos del Mar, through a pilot project in the community of Tierra Bomba Island. It is based on the production of water sports accessories build out from the recycling of the worn plastic of the island. The project should generate economic development that will empower the community of the island while contributing to the resolution of environmental problems related to the proliferation of plastics.

HE Mr Duque and Mr Bouzou also discussed the upcoming Peace and Sport International Forum, which will be held from December 11 to 13 in the Principality. The theme of this twelfth edition will be on investment for peace, a topic of interest for President Duque, who came to Cannes to speak about the “orange economy”.

Peace and Sport is an international, neutral and independent organisation based in Monaco that contributes to peace using the power of sport. Founded in 2007 by Modern Pentathlon Olympic Medallist and World Champion Joël Bouzou, Peace and Sport is under the High Patronage of HSH Prince Albert of Monaco. The organisation can count on a group of over 100 high level sportsmen personally committed to the peace-through-sport movement, the “Champions for Peace”. They dedicate their time, their fame, and their athletic experience to serve projects which use sport to tackle social issues.

PHOTO: HE Mr Iván Duque, left, with Joël Bouzou