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  • IOC Presidents Back UN Day of Sport, Peace


    04/06/20

    (ATR) The International Day of Sport For Development and Peace is being celebrated today, marking the seven-year anniversary of the United Nations resolution.
    Thomas Bach records video message for International Day of Sport For Development and Peace. (Olympic Channel)

    IOC president Thomas Bach issued a video message to athletes and Olympic enthusiasts, urging everyone to stay strong, stay active and stay healthy, while commemorating the day during these uncertain times for sport and the world community.

    “On Monday 6th of April is the International Day of Sport For Development and Peace, one reason more to get active to play sport and one reason more to look forward to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, which because of the situation we are in now, we will celebrate next year,” Bach said in the video, which aired on the Olympic Channel and social media platforms.

    H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco also encouraged the world to recognize the special day considering the ongoing battle against COVID-19, while underlining the significance and value of the occasion. He is out of self-isolation and recovering from the coronavirus himself.

    “The message behind the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, celebrated on April 6, comes into full play in the current context,” he said. “Using sport to protect our planet and reinforce our bonds with each other.”

    Then IOC president Jacques Rogge and tennis great Novak Djokovic were present at the U.N. in New York, on August 24, 2013, to propose the cause and annual day of celebration to the U.N. 67th General Assembly, a resolution that was swiftly adopted.

    Rogge spoke exclusively later that day to Brian Pinelli of Around the Rings, who was at the United Nations.

    Below is his story as reported and published on August 24, 2013:

    NEW YORK (ATR) - The 67th General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution today proclaiming April 6th as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.

    IOC President Jacques Rogge, 67th UNGA Pres. Vuk Jeremic & Novak Djokovic at UN in August 2013 (ATR)
    H.E. Vuk Jeremić, President of the U.N. General Assembly, opened Friday’s proceedings in New York by introducing Jacques Rogge on his final visit to the U.N. as IOC President.

    “For his distinguished contributions to the world of sport and beyond, we owe him a large debt of gratitude,” said Jeremić, who has served as President of the General Assembly 67th Session since June 2012.

    Following presentations by United Nations members from Monaco, the United States, Australia, Costa Rica, Israel, and Belarus, all voicing support for the initiative, Rogge addressed the U.N. General Assembly about agenda item 12 during an informal segment of the proceedings on Friday morning.

    “Your decision recognizes the value of the work that is underway every day, in every region of the world, to share the joy and benefits of sport with people of all ages and abilities,” said the IOC President .

    “Designating the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace will bring others to this great cause and deliver more benefits to more people,” Rogge stated while sitting between Serbians Jeremić and world number one tennis player Novak Djokovic.

    After the session, Rogge spoke to Around the Rings.

    Rogge's term as IOC president would end in September 2013. (ATR)
    “I think one should not understate the symbolic importance of this: the acknowledgement of the value of sports for education, the value of sports for health and the value of sports to contribute to a better peace climate,” Rogge said.

    “All of this has been recognized by the United Nations and I think this is a landmark day,” he said.

    Rogge emphasized the accomplishments and value of the relationship between the IOC and U.N.

    “We have already done a lot together with the United Nations,” Rogge said. “In 2009, we obtained a Status of Observancy of the General Assembly, which non-government agencies can have. It opens the doors of the United Nations.

    “We have signed not less than 19 Memorandum of Understandings with the agencies of the U.N. The purpose of the MOUs is that we bring the value of sport, we bring sport infrastructure, organizers and coaches and the United Nations provides facilities, logistics and so forth, and the combination of the two works very well.”

    Jeremić, who is also the President of the Serbian Tennis Association, concluded Friday’s session at the U.N.

    “In the words of the greatest living statesman, Nelson Mandela, a heroic figure whose political legacy and moral weight has left a lasting mark on our times, 'Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire and unite people in a way that little else does,'” Jeremić said.

    “In effortlessly throwing asunder all human barriers, sport is indeed the world’s universal language,” he concluded.

    Djokovic, a two-time Olympian who won a bronze medal at Beijing in 2008, spoke to ATR about the global influence and significance of the newly adopted U.N. resolution.

    “It’s important to all members of the U.N., but also all people around the world realize the intrinsic values that sport represents and hopefully we can nurture them for many more years,” said Djokovic, who begins his pursuit for a second U.S. Open title on Monday in nearby Flushing Meadows.

    IOC members in attendance included Americans Angela Ruggiero and Anita DeFrantz, Richard Carrion of Puerto Rico, Austin Seale of Barbados, IOC Athletes Commission chair Claudia Bokel. IOC International Cooperation Director Tommy Sithole.and USOC Chairman Larry Probst were also at the U.N.

    Written by Brian Pinelli

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