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IOC President Thomas Bach at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
Date
12 Oct 2016
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IOC News

Council of Europe adopts resolution on Sport for All

Sport is a bridge to equality, integration and social inclusion, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg stressed on Wednesday in adopting a resolution with the aim of promoting access to sport for all.

Before the adoption of the resolution, IOC President Thomas Bach addressed the Parliamentarians and the Member States. In his speech, President Bach highlighted the fact that sport plays an important role for social cohesion by providing opportunities for people of different backgrounds to interact and exchange ideas: “Sport has the unique power to bring people together, regardless of background, gender, culture or belief. The Olympic Games Rio 2016 reminded us all of this great unifying power of sport. The best example of this was the participation of the first-ever Refugee Olympic Team.”

President Bach assured the Assembly of the IOC’s commitment to support the Member States in their efforts to realise the important goals of promoting integration and making sport accessible for all.

Sport has the unique power to bring people together, regardless of background, gender, culture or belief. Thomas Bach IOC President

In her report to the Assembly, Rapporteur Carmen Quintanilla emphasised: “Sport is a human right.” She called on the Parliamentarians “to lobby our governments and lobby our schools to promote sport.”

Carmen Quintanilla Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly

In introducing the IOC President to the Assembly, PACE President Pedro Agramunt stressed that sport plays an important role in promoting and consolidating democratic values and fundamental rights in society, and highlighted the leadership of the IOC in the reform process of sports organisations.

Earlier, President Agramunt welcomed President Bach in a private meeting. In their conversation, both Presidents agreed on the different roles of sport and politics in society. They underlined the shared values of the Council of Europe and the Olympic Movement as a strong foundation for cooperation on topics to which sport can contribute, as outlined in the resolution. The IOC President also signed the Golden Book of the Council of Europe.

President Bach also met Thorbjorn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, and his Deputy Secretary General, Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni. They discussed questions of good governance and doping in sport. Both of them welcomed the recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020 which directly address these topics. They also discussed the need for stronger coordination of the engagement of the governments within the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Mr Jagland and Ms Battaini-Dragoni agreed to follow up on the related proposals from the recent Olympic Summit.

IOC President Thomas Bach and PACE President Pedro Agramunt Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly

President Bach was accompanied by IOC Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer Pâquerette Girard Zappelli who participated in a session on the implementation of good governance principles in sports organisations held by the Parliamentary Assembly’s Sub-Committee on Education, Youth and Sport.

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