POSTED: June 17th 2014

IOC President Bach, UN Secretary General Ban meet in Lausanne

The IOC and UN delegations at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne / IOC
The IOC and UN delegations at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne / IOC

The Olympic Flag turns 100 today and is truly one of the most recognized symbols in the world
The Olympic Flag turns 100 today and is truly one of the most recognized symbols in the world

CHAD WISE / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) Less than two months after the signing of an historic agreement between the International Olympic Committee and United Nations in New York, IOC President Thomas Bach and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met at IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, Tuesday for a one-hour bilateral meeting.

Topics of discussion included the ongoing war in South Sudan forcing citizens out of their homes and into a state of famine. Bach held a joint meeting with members of the Sudanese National Olympic Committee and South Sudanese sporting movement prior to the meeting in Lausanne, and was happy to report the South Sudanese were able to get in contact with local representatives because of the Memorandum of Understanding between the IOC and United Nations. The IOC is also currently working with the National Olympic Committee of Sudan, International Federations, and training centres to assist with the development of athletes who have the potential to compete in the upcoming Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games.

A project in the Central African Republic, started by the local NOC with support from the IOC, will see more than 1,800 athletes and sports representatives using sport as a tool for peace and will encourage leaders to solve conflicts peacefully. Peace “caravans,” sports competitions with “fair play and peace” awards, and conferences and debates are all planned as part of the initiative. In addition, the United Nations proposed a feasibility study be done in coordination with the project.

“We believe that sport can be a strong driver for social change, and today’s visit by the UN Secretary General strengthens once again our determination to use the values of sport to help build a better world,” Bach said. “Whether it is with youth, refugees, or wherever people are in need we are ready to serve. Sport can play a role, and we want to be at your side.”

The meeting also covered possible collaboration between the two organisations to support athletes living in refugee camps, while Bach emphasised the IOC’s commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

The two discussed IOC Honorary President and United Nations Special Envoy of the Secretary General Jacques Rogge’s upcoming visit to Jordan to meet with Syrian refugees to research the benefits of sport-based initiatives for refugees and local communities in the region.

Updates on the Olympic Agenda 2020 were also given by Bach. Fourteen Working Groups made up of stakeholders of the Olympic Movement and outside experts will meet in June to go over the thousands of contributions received by the IOC.

“The United Nations and International Olympic Committee are committed to work together to harness the power of sport to promote development, advance human rights, and build peace,” Ban said after the meeting in Lausanne.

Keywords · International Olympic Committee · IOC · Thomas Bach · United Nations · UN · Lausanne · Switzerland · Rio 2016 · Olympic Summer Games · Rio de Janeiro · South Sudan · Central African Republic · Olympic Agenda 2020

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