IOC President and UN Secretary General agree on increased cooperation
The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Jacques Rogge, welcomed United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to the IOC headquarters today, where the two leaders agreed on an expanded framework for IOC and UN cooperation. President Rogge told Mr Ban that the IOC is committed to using sport to help further meet the goals of UN specialised agencies around the world.
“The Secretary General and I had a very productive meeting that focused on global issues of mutual concern,” President Rogge said after the meeting. “The IOC is aware that we can never do enough to support humanitarian and environmental issues today. However, the IOC is a sports organisation. We must rely on the expertise and influence of the UN to define goals and determine how they can best be met through sport.”
In Mr Ban’s first official visit to the IOC, he and President Rogge discussed the IOC’s commitment to the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and how the IOC can use sport as a catalyst in partnership with the UN. The IOC has identified five development goals it believes it can help advance through sport and with its partners. These are: eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, promoting gender equality and empowering women, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability, and developing a global partnership for development.
The IOC currently works with a wide array of UN specialised agencies and organisations around the world to benefit young people and the community. For example, the IOC is currently discussing collaboration with the African Union/UN Hybrid Operation (UNAMID) to contribute to humanitarian aid efforts in Darfur, Sudan, as the IOC has already done in Liberia and Democratic Republic of Congo.
With exactly 198 days to go until Beijing 2008, the meeting included a discussion of the positive effects the Olympic Games are hoped to have on China’s social and economic development. The two leaders also discussed parallels between China and benefits the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul brought to South Korea’s culture and economy.
“I am very happy and satisfied by the partnership between the United Nations and the IOC and the way in which we use sport in our common efforts to promote peace, dialogue and reconciliation. Sport is a powerful tool. Specifically this year, we look forward to a very successful Beijing Olympic Games, believing that Beijing 2008 can bring much spirit, harmony, friendship, dialogue and reconciliation for the world; a true festival. You have my full cooperation and my support,” said the UN Secretary General.
The two leaders last met in October in New York City, when the UN General Assembly adopted the Olympic Truce Resolution for this year’s Beijing Olympic Games.
Free of charge B-roll footage including soundbites in English of the IOC President Jacques Rogge and the UN Secretary General are available at the following address: www.olympic.org/thenewsroom
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