United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, highlighted the importance of sport for development and peace, referencing International Inspiration, the legacy programme of the London 2012 Games, as an example which he hopes the IOC will encourage future host countries to follow.
As he addressed delegates at an event to formally adopt the Olympic Truce, he said, “We often take sport, play and leisure for granted, yet millions of people around the world do not have access to sports, or are actively denied their right to participate.
I call on all Governments and sport organisations to provide opportunities for sport, physical activity and play. This is not a luxury. It is an investment in better health, education and skills for coming generations – critical for building inclusive societies grounded in mutual tolerance and respect.”
He added: “When you see the magic that a ball can create among children in a shantytown or refugee camp, you see potential that we must harness,” after which, he commended the work of UK Sport and the global partnership with UN agency, UNICEF, to deliver the legacy of the London 2012 games.
Foreign Secretary, William Hague, reiterated the importance of the Olympic motto ‘Citius, Altius, Fortius’ – ‘Higher, Faster, Stronger’ to the British foreign policy, “We must always strive to build on the achievements of the past, whether it is to extend human rights and freedom, protect our global environment, or support peace in conflict-ravaged countries,” he said.
Debbie Lye, International Development Director of UK Sport and Director International Inspiration Programme, was honoured to receive recognition from the United Nations. “We are very proud to be the first host nation that has extended the legacy of the Olympic Games beyond the UK and given young people around the world the opportunity to play and learn from sport,” she said. “It is very much in the spirit of London's mission to inspire a generation.”
International Inspiration has extended the legacy of the London 2012 Games to 12 million children in 20 countries, by giving young people access to sport, which promotes dialogue, peace and development.
The Olympic Truce is embodied in a United Nations resolution calls on UN Member States to promote the ideals at all levels in their societies, as well as internationally. William Hague described it as a ‘historic, opportunity, and we wanted to ensure we made the most of it.’
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