POSTED: September 21st 2010

Ban Ki-moon: Sports community and the UN need to be lasting allies

(L to R) Korean skating idol Yu-na Kim met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon  / UN Photo - Mark Garten
(L to R) Korean skating idol Yu-na Kim met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon / UN Photo - Mark Garten

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

TAMPA/NEW YORK, Sept 21: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is meeting with numerous heads of state this week in New York at the High-Level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly.

Speaking to the Millennium Development Goals Summit Round Table on the Value of Sport as a Development Tool he strongly urged the sports world to become a lasting ally of the United Nations.

Ban also met with Korean superstar ice skater Yu-na Kim prior to the meetings as she serves as an ambassador for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

The Secretary-General noted on the importance and power of sport to inspire social change and to help raise awareness about current issues such as hunger, HIV/AIDS, gender equality, education and environmental care. The UN has a dedicated office on Sport for Development and Peace that furthers this cause.

The Secretary-General was joined at the Roundtable by two IOC Members and Heads of State, Prince Albert of Monaco and Hungarian President, Pal Schmitt, both Olympians.

Prince Albert said to the group, “Sport overcomes all differences: it allows everyone to contribute to the best of their abilities either individually or in a team transcending ability age and gender.”

President Schmitt advised, “Access to sport and a healthy lifestyle is a fundamental human right.”

Schmitt called on political leaders to ensure that facilities are available for citizens to engage in regular physical activity.

Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace, Wilfried Lemke, IOC Member Angela Ruggiero, Dr. Auma Obama, CARE International, Paul Tergat, Goodwill Ambassador for the World Food Programme, and Dikembe Mutombo, NBA Global Ambassador and former UNDP Youth Emissary.

Lemke said, “We need role models from both the elite sport communities and local communities in poor areas, slums and refugee camps.”

He also focused on the necessity to use sport to foster role models as future community leaders. Concluding he emphasized the importance of sustainable multi-stakeholder partnerships with the world of sport that can produce concrete actions for the achievement of the MDGs by the 2015 deadline.

Keywords · UN · IOC · Ban Ki-moon · Yu-na Kim · Prince Albert of Monaco · Pal Schmitt

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