KOFI ANNAN ATTENDS THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC TRUCE FOUNDATION MEETING
New York, 9 May 2001 - The Board of the International Olympic Truce Foundation, chaired by Juan Antonio Samaranch, met yesterday in New York at the United Nations Headquarters.
The meeting was attended by the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr Kofi Annan, who said ‘there is a remarkable support worldwide for the concept of the Olympic Truce – this call for warring parties to lay down their arms while athletes from the entire community of nations meet under the noble flame of the Olympic torch,’ and added ‘these activities are often undertaken ad hoc, at very modest cost. But for those directly involved, they have yielded a high return. In some post-conflict areas, providing simple sports equipment to young people had often proved one of the most effective ways to help restore normal life’.
Among the participants were the Foreign Ministers of Greece, George Papandreou, and Namibia, Theo-Ben Gurirab, the former Prime Minister of Sweden, Ingvar Carlsson, the former Secretary of State of the United States of America, Henry Kissinger, and the former Foreign Minister of Norway, Thorvald Stoltenberg, Yasushi Akashi from Japan, Patrick Baudry from France, and the special advisor of the United Nations Secretary General for sport for development and peace, Adolf Ogi from Switzerland.
The Olympic Movement was represented by IOC vice-president Anita L. DeFrantz, IOC members João Havelange, Hein Verbruggen and Robert Steadward, president of the International Military Sports Council Gianni Gola, Olympic athlete and parliamentarian from the Netherlands Erica Terpstra, as well as the presidents of the Olympic Games Organizing Committees, Michael Knight (Sydney 2000), Mitt Romney (Salt Lake City 2002), Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki (Athens 2004) and Valentino Castellani (Turin 2006).
The Foundation Board adopted the report submitted by its secretary Fékrou Kidané and the master plan presented by the director of the International Olympic Truce Centre, Stavros Lambrinidis.
A sculpture of the Olympic Truce, produced by artist Rosa Serra, was also presented to the Foundation by Irwin Belk from the United States, a supporter