India has emphasised the need for the UN system to undertake greater activities related to sports to promote peace and to develop indicators and benchmarks for evaluating and monitoring such activities.
India recognises the positive value of sport as an instrument that can bring people together in a neutral and apolitical setting, Indian delegate Mufti Mohammed Sayeed said Friday during a debate in the UN General Assembly.
"In our neighbourhood, the game of cricket has sometimes served as an instrument of diplomacy, adding a new phrase to our lexicon, namely 'cricket diplomacy'," Mufti said.
India has taken note of the secretary-general's suggestion to member states for maximising the positive impact of sports.
India remains engaged with the efforts of the special adviser to the secretary-general on Sport for Development and Peace, including moves to organise the United Nations Global Youth Leadership Summit.
"We are convinced that the engagement of youth will help energise the efforts of countries to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. We support efforts by the UN system to generate awareness among the youth through such initiatives," Mufti said.
The high degree of competitiveness in international sports has led to nurturing of talent from a tender age, and to greater emphasis on physical training along scientific lines.
Despite resource constraints, India has been making efforts to broadbase sports and infrastructure.
The government has focused its attention on the need for upgrading the skills of coaches and provision of adequate sports-science backup.
The government has encouraged the national sports federations to function more efficiently and is facilitating the active involvement of business and industry in the promotion of sports, Mufti said.