POSTED: April 23rd 2015

IOC President Bach and Ukrainian President Poroshenko meet to discuss role of sport

(L-R) Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko and IOC President, Thomas Bach ©IOC/Christophe Moratal
(L-R) Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko and IOC President, Thomas Bach ©IOC/Christophe Moratal

(L-R) Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko and IOC President, Thomas Bach ©IOC/Christophe Moratal
(L-R) Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko and IOC President, Thomas Bach ©IOC/Christophe Moratal

MARISSA FLANDERS / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) To prepare for his meeting with Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President, Thomas Bach left Monday from Sochi. The leaders met, today at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland. President Poroshenko was accompanied by the 1st Vice Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Sergey Bubka, President of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Ukraine (Executive Board Member) and Valeriy Borzov, IOC Member in Ukraine also attended the meeting.

The pair discussed sport as a means to promote health, reconciliation, education and the development of peace. At the heart of their meeting was the IOC initiative that has helped many Ukrainian athletes in areas that have been affected by civil strife. The initiative aids in relocating them to peaceful areas of the country, so they may carry on with their training. Last year, the IOC established an emergency fund of $300,000 USD to benefit Ukrainian athletes, through the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Ukraine, for competition and training purposes. President Poroshenko praised the IOC program, which has helped relocate 30 athletes who are currently supported by the program.

The discussion continued as President Bach reiterated that sport should bring people together. He also added how the United Nation's (UN's) resolution on the autonomy of sports has encouraged the conciliatory nature of sport and full participation at sporting events. President Bach noted how the UN's request for respect of the values of sport is incompatible with boycotts. Ukrainian President, Poroshenko agreed and stated that he was, "against sports boycotts." He emphasized that, "Ukraine is welcoming athletes from all countries."

In addition, the sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are being finalized, this year, by the UN were another topic of discussion. President Bach reiterated the need to have sport included in the final declaration.

Also on the discussion list was the reform process, President Poroshenko was implementing in Ukraine and added that sport is playing a key role in social policy, health, and education.

At the end of this meeting, President Bach was invited to visit Ukraine, by President Poroshenko and the IOC President was happy to accept the invitation.

This meeting comes after a very busy week for President Bach, which included the celebration of the International Day of Sport for Peace and Development at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York with Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon. In addition, President Bach had meetings with Prime Minister, Viktor Orban from Hungary and President Francois Hollande of France. Lastly, President Bach visited Serbia and Kosovo, before attending SportAccord to have a one-on-one meeting with Russian President, Vladimir Putin.

** MARISSA FLANDERS is a graduate of Saint Leo University with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Business. She has over four years of writing experience and has a real passion for ice hockey following the Pittsburgh Penguins on her blog

Keywords · IOC · President Bach · Ukrainian President · Petro Poroshenko · Olympic

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