Ban Ki-moon delivers keynote address at Olympic Congress
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today opened its XIII Olympic Congress with a keynote address from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon following IOC President Jacques Rogge’s opening remarks.
Ban Ki-moon praised the excellent cooperation between the United Nations and the Olympic family, and stressed common goals: “Sport can be found anywhere in the world. I have travelled to countries mired in poverty. To communities struggling to survive. To war-ravaged places where all hope seems lost. Suddenly, a ball appears, made out of plastic bags or newspapers. And we see sport gives life to hopes and dreams.”
He concluded: “If you asked me to jog around this conference room, I would probably run out of breath. But when it comes to fighting for our shared global goals – for a world that is cleaner, healthier, more peaceful, more sustainable and more prosperous – I will sprint like an Olympian. I will summon the energy and run and run and never stop until we reach the finish line. I am counting on all of you to join me. We must go for gold.”
Rogge told the delegates that their task is to provide “intellectual guidance” to help strengthen and improve the Olympic Movement. Under the overarching theme, “The Olympic Movement and Society,” the three-day Congress will examine issues related to Olympic athletes, the Olympic Games, the structure of the Olympic Movement, Olympism and youth, and the digital revolution.
“We have gathered in this beautiful city to take stock of the Olympic Movement — to consider where we are today and where we want to be in the future,” Rogge said. “We’re here to continue the search for improvement. As we approach this task, we should think as boldly and as fearlessly as our founder.”
The UN and the IOC cooperate on a host of projects related to the IOC’s work as a values-based sport organisation. The IOC has embraced the UN’s Millennium Development Goals and the environmental goals of Agenda 21. The two organisations also work together on the Olympic Truce, development through sport, education, humanitarian aid and health protection around the world.
About 1,200 delegates from the Olympic family, including International Federations and National Olympic Committees, as well as coaches, trainers, academics, medical specialists and representatives of the public, NGOs and the media will attend the three-day Congress. Their recommendations will be forwarded to the decision-making bodies of the IOC and other relevant stakeholders.
Full speech of IOC President Jacques Rogge
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