Hello Monaco magazine Winter 2018 - issue HM02 - Page 51

INTERVIEW NGOs and academia. This year Professor Muhammad Yunus, together with UEFA Champions League winner, four-time Premier League Champion and Champion for Peace Didier Drogba, will be speakers for the Peace and Sport 10-Year Gala on December the 7th. Also on this occasion, eleven awards will be granted to exceptional initiatives promoting peace through sport as part of the evening of the Peace and Sport International Forum Gala. Joёl Bouzou in this exclusive interview for HelloMonaco shared his philosophy about how sport can bring peace to the world, who will be presented with Peace and Sport Awards this year and what other projects the organisation is going to lead in next year. HelloMonaco: Tell us how the idea of creating the Peace and Sport organization was born and how did you come to it? Joёl Bouzou: Peace and Sport is the result of a personal journey in which I realised that sport is a powerful tool for building peace and positive social change. Along the years, I have undertaken the work of promoting peace through sport to share a long-standing conviction of mine, that sport is a springboard to individual well-being, social cohesion and sustainable peace. This certainty was born of my own experience and has been confirmed over the years, initially during my time as a sportsperson and teacher, and later because of responsibilities arising out of my professional career. HM: What did you do before Peace and Sport? JB: My career as a sportsperson gave me the opportunity to travel in order to participate in international competitions. I have participated in four Olympic Games (Moscow 1980, Los Angeles 1984, Seoul 1988 and Barcelona 1992) winning a bronze medal during the 1984 Games. I won the World Championship title in Modern Pentathlon in 1987. This experience helped to forge and assimilate the Olympic values and to become aware of the powerful role athletes can play as role models for society. I ended my sporting career in 1992. Working on different projects related to sport and promoting it constantly through different channels, I gradually developed the ambition of creating a project based on sport that would contribute to the process of keeping peace and support development. One of the examples was the creation of the association «Rassemblement par le Sport» («Together through Sport»), which during 10 years of existence, helped to bring 20,000 young people off the streets on a long-term basis by involving them in a sporting activity. H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco and Joёl Bouzou We have held, annually, our #WhiteCard campaign, which this year reached more than 43 million people worldwide. Through the use of a universal #WhiteCard we have been able to turn millions of people into ambassadors for peace. HM: What social problems do you consider the most important for Peace and Sport? JB: There is a pressing need to address the major difficulties faced by our world today, from escalating local conflict, refugee issues and the global migration crisis to the rise of extremism and community withdrawal. It is important to raise awareness about the new capaci- ties of the global sport and peace community to make sport a tool to serve society and promote cohesion, throughout the wo