Appeal for peace
In a joint message welcoming the opening of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi A. Annan and FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter make an appeal for peace, tolerance and development. Their message is addressed to the whole world as it comes together in Munich to witness the start of the world's biggest sporting event.
Last January, the FIFA President welcomed Kofi A. Annan to FIFA headquarters for a discussion centred around their shared objectives. The two men talked about how sport in general and football in particular can play a key role in development all around the world.
Click here to see a PDF of the letter
Football is a sport that transcends social, cultural and religious divides. Quite simply, football is universal, which is why this unique opportunity to join forces to make the world a better place must be taken.
**KOFI A. ANNAN SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS
JOSEPH S. BLATTER PRESIDENT OF THE FÉDÉRATION INTERNATIONALE DE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
MESSAGE WELCOMING THE OPENING OF THE FIFA WORLD CUP
June 2006 **
Football is a global language. It can bridge social, cultural and religious divides. It enhances personal development and growth, teaches us teamwork and fair play, builds self-esteem and opens doors to new opportunities. This, in turn, can contribute to the well-being of whole communities and countries.
That is why the United Nations is using football as a tool in our work to reach the Millennium Development Goals -- the set of powerful, people-centred objectives adopted by all countries as a blueprint for building a better world in the 21st century.
And it is why the United Nations is turning to football in our efforts to heal the emotional wounds of war among young people in refugee camps, and in countries recovering from armed conflict.
At the World Summit last year, all of the world's Governments declared that "sports can foster peace and development, and can contribute to an atmosphere of tolerance and understanding".
Over the next few weeks, as billions of people worldwide focus on the FIFA World Cup, we appeal to players and fans everywhere to support to us in our mission. Let us harness the magic of football in our quest for development and peace.