United Nations praise for India and Pakistan

The United Nations has recognised the key role that cricket has played in improving relations between India and Pakistan, describing the recent series as "a bridge improving communication between the two countries".

"I believe that both national cricket teams are pioneers in the quest for peace and stability in South Asia," said Adolf Ogi, Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace, in a letter addressed to Shaharyar Khan, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board. "They can serve as role models for other countries and regions around the world."

"The universal language of sport has the power to attract, inspire and engage people regardless of ethnicity, religion, or social background," Ogi continued. "The passion for cricket, shared by both Pakistanis and Indians at matches, provides a unifying experience that sheds light on human and cultural similarities."

The UN has declared 2005 as the International Year of Sport and Physical Education (IYSPE 2005) and is hoping to promote the use of sport as a tool for education, health, development and peace, as proclaimed by the United Nations' General Assembly resolution 58/5. To that end, the India-Pakistan series has been the perfect role model.

"I am convinced that sport is a positive life-changing force that can help create a better world. I believe that the recent India-Pakistan cricket series have set a great example that will illuminate the IYSPE 2005."