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UK Mission to the United Nations

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London 18:40, 02 Jan 2013
New York 13:40, 02 Jan 2013

"We encourage all Member States to support and promote the ideals of the Olympic Truce internationally and domestically"

28 November 2012

UK Intervention at the UNGA Plenary meeting on Sport as a means to promote education, health, development and peace
UN Headquarters New York

Thank you, Mr. President.

The United Kingdom Delegation welcomes the report of the Secretary-General on “Sport for Development and Peace,” as well as the latest draft Resolution on “Sport as a means to promote education, health, development and peace”.

2012 has been a special year for the United Kingdom as London played host to the summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.  We were proud that the Paralympic Games set many new records: sporting records, records for crowds, for TV audiences, and for unbridled spirit.  

Throughout our Olympic and Paralympic Games campaigning we hoped to ensure that the Games left a lasting legacy.  We were both pleased and grateful to see parts of this legacy – specifically the International Inspiration sports legacy programme and the UN Resolution on the Olympic Truce - mentioned in the Secretary-General’s report.  We would now like to share some additional information about these pieces of work and their follow-up:

International Inspiration is London 2012’s international sports legacy programme.  At the Singapore bid in 2005, we vowed to make efforts to ‘reach young people all around the world and connect them to the inspirational power of the Games so they are inspired to choose sport’.  So far, International Inspiration has enriched the lives of at least 11 million children in 20 countries around the world through high-quality and inclusive physical education, sport and play and is on course to reach its target of 12 million children by 2014. 

The UK was also proud to have the opportunity to sponsor the 2011 UN General Assembly Resolution on the Olympic Truce.  We were extremely grateful to all 193 UN Member States for their co-sponsorship.

The UK’s aspiration was to mobilise the UN Olympic Truce Resolution around the world.  We hoped to show that there are many aspects of the Resolution which can be developed to promote peace.  With this in mind, we saw an opportunity to mobilise sport and the ideals of the Olympic Truce through our Diplomatic Missions’ conflict prevention work.  Working in partnership with the UN, Member States, National Olympic Committees, Parliamentarians, and civil society, including faith groups and NGOs, we were able to deliver over 80 Olympic Truce activities on every continent. 

Examples included:

  • Organizing a range of activities in collaboration with the Northern Uganda Youth Development Centre to celebrate the impact of peace on young people including sporting events, a ‘peace march’ and work within the community.  
  • Co-hosting a football tournament and clinic bringing people together from a diverse range of communities in the Philippines in order to help bridge gaps between Christians and Muslims.  

However, none of this would have been possible without the participation and cooperation of many different partners.  We would like to give special thanks to the UN Secretary-General, the President of the General Assembly and Mr Wilfred Lemke, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Sport and Development for Peace, for their support for this Olympic Truce work.  The Secretary General joined the British Foreign Secretary on the eve of the Opening Ceremony of London 2012 on 27 July where both recognised the importance of the Olympic Truce.

The UK would also like to extend our warm wishes to future Games Hosts.  This month British Government Ministers visited both Moscow and Rio for high level meetings as part of our Olympic handover and commitment to a long term legacy.  We welcome our agreements with Russia, Brazil and the International Olympic Committee to support promotion of the ideals of the Olympic Truce and remain ready and willing to continue this work into the future.  We encourage all Member States to support and promote the ideals of the Olympic Truce internationally and domestically.

Finally, we encourage all Member States to support Mr. Lemke’s mandate and his work.

Thank you

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