A few hours before the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, IOC President Thomas Bach met the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), António Guterres. The two leaders discussed the many areas of cooperation between the two organisations in 2018.
In his remarks, President Bach thanked the UN Secretary-General for his support for the Olympic spirit, a true symbol of peace in the world. He reminded him of the excellent cooperation with the UN, based on the 2014 MoU and through which the two organisations contribute to the realisation of the values they both share: to make the world a better and more peaceful place.
This strong cooperation was stressed by UN Secretary-General Guterres, who also praised the excellent work done by the PyeongChang Organising Committee and the IOC for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. He reiterated his message that "the Olympic spirit is the most important symbol of peace in this world which sees so many conflicts, so many victims. The Olympic spirit allows people to be together from all over the world, to respect each other, to serve the themes of tolerance and mutual understanding. These make the basic elements of peace possible." He concluded by saying that, for the UN, the IOC is "the voice of sport. The IOC represents by its values the same values that created the United Nations," he added.
At the end of the meeting, President Bach offered the UN Secretary-General a PyeongChang 2018 Olympic torch, a symbol of the Olympic spirit defended by the UN Secretary-General. Mario Pescante, the IOC Permanent Observer to the United Nations, also attended the meeting.