UN Dispatch readers in the greater New York City metro area should head down to Pier 41 tomorrow evening for what should be a rather interesting spectacle. Some 20 UN ambassadors, including Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, will “shed their suits and ties for soccer shoes and shorts” and play a 60 minute 7-on-7 soccer match. Team captains include Chile’s UN Ambassador Heraldo Munoz and Liechtenstiein ambassador Christian Wenaweser. No joke!
The match is organized by my old pal, Jakob Silas Lund, who founded a non-profit called Play 31. The organizationdraws its name Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (which, ahem, the United States is yet to ratify). Article 31, stipulates that “States Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.” Accordingly, Play 31 raises money to provide children in war affected countries the tools (i.e. soccer balls) to exercise that right.
The match tomorrow evening will benefit children in Sierra Leone. And even if you can’t make it to the match tomorrow you can follow the action on the Play 31 blog.
UPDATE: UN Dispatch obtains photos of the match via friend of Dispatch Jacob R. Boersema