- 01 Dec 2004
- IOC News
World AIDS Day 2004
At the occasion of today’s World AIDS Day 2004, the president of the International Olympic Committee, Dr Jacques Rogge, has issued the following statement: “AIDS continues to challenge communities and individuals all over the world. According to UNAIDS one-third of the 39.4 million people living with HIV are under age 25, many of whom are involved in sports, either as spectators or as participants.
Vigorous leadership and action
The magnitude of the response needed to meet the UN’s target to halt and reverse AIDS by 2015 requires vigorous leadership and action by everyone, everywhere. Sport is not separate from the rest of society and when AIDS hits countries, communities and individuals we all feel the impact. We must play our part.
The fundamental principle of the Olympic Movement is to place sport everywhere at the service of the harmonious development of mankind. We therefore have a duty to contribute to the global fight against AIDS.
Sport breaks down barriers
Sport breaks down barriers, builds self-esteem, and can promote life skills and healthy behaviour. This year the International Olympic Committee along with numerous National Olympic Committees, aware of the increasing social and economic impact of HIV and AIDS, made a number of commitments to support efforts to tackle AIDS.
IOC commitment to promote awareness and prevention
We committed to promoting AIDS awareness and HIV prevention for all - particularly among the sport community. The sports community is a key partner in reaching out to young men and women, whether in their villages or cities.
Fighting AIDS also means challenging any form of discrimination. Discrimination towards a country, or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender, or otherwise, is incompatible with to the principles of the Olympic Movement.
Responsibility to challenge discrimination
Each of us in the Olympic Movement, from international sport institutions to national federations and local clubs in the neighbourhoods, has a responsibility to challenge discrimination, today on World AIDS Day – and every day. Changing our own attitudes, beliefs and behaviour can transform relations between women and men, and make the world a better and safer place for us all."