The 3rd International Forum on Sport for Peace and Development opened Wednesday, June 5 in New York with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) honoring United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with the Olympic Order.
The award was in recognition of the UN Secretary-General’s strong personal commitment to use sport as a tool for social change, a concept brought to life through various joint IOC-UN projects at the community level. It was also under Mr. Ban that the IOC received UN observer status in 2009.
The UN Secretary-General and IOC President Jacques Rogge delivered keynote speeches at the Forum, held for the first time at the UN headquarters.
President Rogge said: “As we meet here today, sport is at work for peace and development in countries around the world. Collaboration in this area has increased dramatically and involves a wide range of committed partners.” He added: “The relationship between the IOC and the UN goes back many years. Our organisations have two very different roles in society, but we share some core values.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “The link between sport, peace and development grows stronger by the year. It can be traced back in history to the original Olympic Truce, which guaranteed safe passage to athletes and other travellers attending the ancient Games. It is found in the bidding requirements for modern Olympic host cities, which are asked to provide a durable social and environmental legacy. And it is evident throughout the United Nations system, which has embraced sport as a valuable vehicle for reaching our peace and development objectives. The International Olympic Committee is a key partner.”
The two leaders also initiated the start of work on a permanent sports exhibition in the UN building during a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The exhibition will enable visitors from all over the world to better understand the role of sport in human development and the promotion of peace.
By using sport as a tool, the IOC and its partners implement various activities across the globe in fields such as humanitarian assistance, peace-building, education, gender equality, the environment and the fight against HIV/AIDS, thereby contributing to the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals.
The 3rd International Forum on Sport for Peace and Development is taking place at the UN headquarters in New York from June 5-6, 2013. Jointly organized by the IOC and the UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP), with the support of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).