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“When Sport Breaks Walls Down”, the full report

Olympic Truce Center (IOTC) hosted the International Youth Forum “When Sport Breaks Walls Down” in Berlin, to share and develop ideas on the use of sport to promote inter-cultural dialogue, peace and reconciliation.

The Forum was hosted by Der Diwan – Arab Culture House, Berlin, Germany, on the 6thand 7th of April 2019 under the patronage of H.E. Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Ambassador of the State of Qatar in Germany. The Forum’s participants were selected from a bright pool of applicants or were nominated by the network of Save the Dream’s partners. The Youth Forum kicked-off a global campaign involving Save the Dream partners and Ambassadors to raise awareness on the importance of using sport to break down those walls which still exist in spite of the great message sent to the world in 1989 by the demolition of the Berlin Wall.

The key note speaker Kjetil Siem, Director of the FIFA Foundation, presented what FIFA Foundation was working on.

Wilfried Lemke, former United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace with his inspiring energy conveyed how the United Nations worked on using sports as a vehicle of peace development.

Felix Rundel, Member of the Executive Leadership of the Falling Walls Foundation, showed the actions and activities that the foundation Falling Walls are performing around the globe.

Amb. Tegla Loroupe, Marathon Champion, UN and Save the Dream Sport Ambassador, Captain of the Refugee Olympic Team at the 2016 Summer Olympics, presented her vivid and inspiring life experience.

Honey Thaljieh, Corporate Communications Manager, FIFA, Save the Dream Ambassador, presented the FIFA initiatives and especially the camps in Palestine where numerous refugee activities were realised.

Hans Grodotzki, East German long-distance runner who competed for the United Team of Germany in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, winning the silver medal in the 10,000 metres, together with Patrick Hausding, German diver, Olympic Medallist gave a contrasting witness to the differences of preapring and competing in the 1960 and upcoming 2020 Olympics.

The sesssions of the first day were moderated by Massimiliano Montanari, Save the Dream Executive Director, CEO of ICSS INSIGHT, whom EMCA members know from our BIG4SPORTS project.

The international framework on sport for peace and development was presented in a serious review of sport history on this topic by Diogo Guia, Director Sports Public Policy, ICSS INSIGHT, another participant in the BIG4SPORTS project.

The last day Patric Bauer, Team Director, Team Shosholoza Sailing under the flag of sport values, presented the Volvo’s Cup sailing team, consisting also with refugees.

In the end Final Declaration was adopted by all participants.

Thanks to Bojan Mijatovic, who attended the event representing EMCA and HAŠK Mladost and wrote this report for us.