International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach and United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met today ahead of the Opening Ceremony for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games.
The meeting comes just a few weeks after they jointly inaugurated the Sports for Hope Centre in Haiti.
‘Your presence here today is once again the proof of the strong and increasing cooperation between our two institutions’, said President Bach during a meeting between the two leaders.
‘The Youth Olympic Games are not only about competition, they are about spreading the Olympic values and empowering youth to become responsible citizens and leaders in their communities.'
The UN are actively involved in the Culture and Education Programme at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing. UNAIDS, for example, is for the second time taking part in the Culture and Education Programme at a Youth Olympic Games by running an educational booth on HIV & AIDS prevention and sexual health.
'At this critical moment, I am here to shine a spotlight on the power of sport and youth to advance global understanding. When we see countries competing together on playing fields, we know that they can work together in negotiating rooms,' the Secretary-General said. 'We have about 500 days to reach the Millennium Development Goals, we are crafting an agenda for long-term sustainable development, and we are laying the groundwork for a meaningful new climate agreement – all by the year 2015,' he added.
The IOC and the UN signed earlier this year a historic agreement in New York aimed at strengthening collaboration between the two organisations at the highest level.
The UN Secretary General will attend the Opening Ceremony of the Youth Olympic Games this evening at the Nanjing Olympic Sport Centre. The YOG are taking place from 16 to 28 August and feature 3,800 young athletes from around the world.