IOC President and UN Chief sign agreement to strengthen collaboration

NEW YORK (CIHAN)- On the inaugural International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today (28 Apr) signed an agreement strengthening collaboration between the two organisations.

With Norwegian professional biathlete Ole Einar Bjørndalen and Boston Marathon male winner Meb Keflezighi watching on Ban and Bach signed the memorandum of understanding, which aims to promote the role of sport in development and peace.

Ban said “sport is at work for peace and development around the clock, around the world.”

He then quoted basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson, who spoke in response to the growing controversy over racially insensitive comments involving the Los Angeles Clippers, “We all play with different races of people when you’re in sports. That’s what makes sports so beautiful.”

The Secretary-General said that in conflict areas such as Syria, the Central African Republic and South Sudan, and in the neighbouring countries which host millions of refugees, “sport has a role to play in helping to restore at least some sense of normalcy.”

Ban also announced the appointment of Jacques Rogge of Belgium, the former IOC President and currently its honorary president, as his Special Envoy for Youth Refugees and Sport.

A former Olympian, Rogge, will help promote sport as an empowerment tool for youth from displaced and refugee communities towards peace, reconciliation, security, health, education, gender equality, and a more inclusive society.