“Harnessing the Power of Sport in Achieving Sustainable Development”
High-level Exhibition Reception Event
High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations
H.E. Mr. Nasssir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser
Delegates Dining Room, 22 September 2017
Excellency, Sheikh Mohammed bin Addulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar,
H.E. Mr. Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy.
Excellency, Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General, Excellency, Alya Ahmed Saif Al-Thani, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations,
Distinguished Delegates and Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure to be here with you today and to address this important topic on “Harnessing the power of Sport in achieving Sustainable Development”.
Now, we are working on building initiatives, which enable sports to make a positive contribution to social inclusion and cohesion, understanding and diversity. Teaching the world the value of social diversity and building a cooperative spirit, will promote the objective of development and peace building.
In light of this, the UNAOC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding related to sports activities with the Qatar Olympic Committee.
Through this agreement and further cooperation with Qatar, the UNAOC recognizes that Sport is an enabler for the SDGs and that hosting Qatar 2022 in my country will provide an opportunity to promote Sustainable Development.
I am very proud that my country will host Qatar 2022 ! We are a small country, but we can accomplish great things!
Qatar has shown through the World Cup its ability to organize, manage and create.
Qatar is the first Middle Eastern country to host the FIFA World Cup. The People of Qatar drove themselves to excel in an unfamiliar situation to prove that they could raise the bar higher than any other country.
For several years now Qatar has led by example promoting development through sports. The program “Aspire Football Dreams” has provided education and sports training to thousands of young people, mostly from developing countries in Africa.
Qatar’s desire to use the World Cup to bring about positive change is further expressed in their commitment to dismantle and donate soccer/football stadiums to developing countries following the World Cup.
Efforts such as these that are centred on sustainability and opportunities for young people for cultural exchanges, can be extended to transcend all borders and encourage peaceful relations in the region.
We appreciate that Qatar’s core value highlight respect and hard work leading to a peaceful and resilient society. Qatar strengthens and put to action sport as an engine for positive change and development.
Given that international sports have too often become subject of criticism and controversy, the Qatar 2022 Event could become a time for civilization and deeper reflexion on what could become a basic Doha Charter of Human Rights in Sports leading eventually to an Universal Convention on Ethics in Sports.
Taking the example of the Second World War abuses which led to the UN Covenants on Human and Civil Rights in 1947, in view of all ethical controversies which are now casting a shadow on the Olympic Games and World Cups, we believe that a Charter for Human Rights in Sports is long overdue as far as the World cup is concerned and worth spending some time analysing the value of such instrument.
We will propose that Such a Charter would come under the examination and authority of UN Member States. We will have to find a consensus among Member States to launch an International Conference which would lead to a resolution calling for a Charter on Ethics and Human Rights in Sports. At UNOAC, with the experience of our Global Forum of recent years, we believe that a consensus between member states is now achievable to develop a Charter for Ethics and Human Rights in Sports.
This proposed International Conference could take place around the Qatar 2022. We have Five years reflexion before us. For sure that consensus between member States on this issue would also be proof that Human Civilization is really moving forward.
As a matter of public credibility and transparency, Humanity has now reached a stage where ethics and human rights in sports must become binding principles for all athletes and stakeholders.
Qatar 2022 a key event which can transform itself as a major achievement for all Humanity, besides the emotions expected from the soccer game itself. Hence, the World Cup would be for the benefit of all Humanity and not only for one country’s prestige.
Leadership is needed in our World to strengthen the situation in sports and to put forward some universal principles, including for all the oncoming World Cups and Olympic Games.
Sport has helped to advance the ideals of justice and progress. It also can give a universal dimension to athletes of any nationality, religion or social level to cohabit in the most globalized world, in this 21st century.
Welcoming Athletes must be a tribute to peace and human progress!