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October 19, 2009

Sport in the limelight at the United Nations

On Monday 19 October 2009, HSH Prince Albert II went to the United Nations to participate in the 21st plenary session of the General Assembly where the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was present as an observer and examined the item on the agenda called “Sport for peace and development: building a better and more peaceful world through sport and the Olympic ideal.”

 Picture : Sport in the limelight at the United Nations

As an IOC member, the Sovereign Prince highlighted to the Member States the IOC's contribution to the work of the General Assembly and reiterated His fervent commitment in favour of Sport for Peace and Development.

On this occasion, He recalled that “today, the Olympic Truce is the expression of humanity's desire to build a world of peace, respectful of the principles of loyal competition” ···(and) “beyond the contribution we have already established in the Millennium Declaration, Sport for Peace and Development, the IOC's official association with the work of the General Assembly institutionalizes the ties between the wisdom of Ancient times and the United Nations' most urgent goal, that of maintaining international peace and security.”

He restated His commitment within the Peace and Sport Association “for Sport to be recognized as an instrument for the promotion and construction of peace with vulnerable communities suffering from extreme poverty, the consequences of conflict or lack of social cohesion, an association that is present today in Ivory Coast, Burundi, Timor Leste and Colombia.”

With the IOC representing the world's largest association of young athletes, HSH Prince Albert II took advantage of this opportunity to emphasize the importance of instilling simple positive values to young people, beginning with physical well-being, the attention given to health and a balanced lifestyle, as well as respect for fair play and non-discrimination.

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HSH Prince Albert II concluded by thanking the Italian delegation for having agreed to submit the request on behalf of the IOC and wished His Canadian colleagues all the success they deserve as the 21st Winter Olympics and the 10th Winter Paralympics approach, highlighting the fond memories He has of the 15th Winter Olympic Games in Calgary in 1988 in which He participated as an athlete. He assured the South African delegation of His personal support and that of His delegation for the organization of the FIFA World Cup in 2010, whose success is important not only for the African continent but also for all those who believe in the values of Sport.
At the end of His speech, the Sovereign Prince spoke to HE Ban Ki-moon, their first official meeting since the Secretary General took office. He was accompanied by the Ambassador, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, HE Isabelle Picco and Lt-Colonel Bruno Philipponnat, Representative for HSH the Prince

Climate change, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the role of Sport for Peace and Development were the subject of this discussion. The Secretary General thanked HSH the Prince for His participation and His contribution to the Summit in September.

Together, they evoked the different steps before the Copenhagen Summit, especially the meeting on the sidelines of the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Summit, to satisfy the expectations of Europeans.

HSH the Sovereign Prince reiterated His support for the realization of MDGs, in particular in the areas of education and social development. In this respect, He emphasized the role of Sport and the importance of sharing its values within our societies.

The Secretary General congratulated HSH the Sovereign Prince for His highly esteemed leadership, thereby recognizing the contribution of ruling families. In His turn, HSH the Sovereign Prince assured him of His dedication in favour of humanitarian causes and gave him a commemorative medal for His Foundation, formulating the wish for an agreement to be found in Copenhagen.

At the end of the afternoon in a UN lounge, the Sovereign Prince invited representatives of the 192 UN member States to celebrate the IOC's new status as an observer at the General Assembly, in the presence in particular of the Special Representative of the Secretary General, Wilfried Lemke, the Organizing Committee of the 21st Winter Olympics and the 10th Winter Paralympics in Vancouver, the delegation of the International Olympic Committee and the South African delegation.

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