Today it was the turn of the UN General-Secretary to carry the Olympic torch during its journey through London. In the presence of IOC President Jacques Rogge, Ban Ki-moon received the flame in Westminster and carried it along Birdcage Walk from Storey’s
The IOC and the UN have long-standing ties and further strengthened their cooperation in 2009 when the UN took the decision to grant the IOC UN observer status. The IOC is working with different UN agencies on a range of programmes and projects in order to contribute to the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through sport.
At last year’s International Forum on Sport, Peace and Development, Ban Ki-moon said: “Sport has become a world language, a common denominator that breaks down all the walls, all the barriers. It is a worldwide industry whose practices can have a widespread impact. Most of all, it is a powerful tool for progress and development.”
During the London 2012 Games for instance, the IOC is partnering with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Organising Committee (LOCOG) to collect sports clothing from athletes and officials and distribute it to thousands of people in refugee camps worldwide. Feedback has shown that, especially for young refugees, the gift of sportswear associated with famous athletes is a tremendous morale-booster. It also provides an opportunity for local coordinators in the camps to organise sporting activities to fight against idleness and ease tensions.
Learn more about the project here: www.olympic.org/givingiswinning