New York, 29 June 2021 – The event on “Securing of Vulnerable Targets from Terrorist Attacks: Promoting Sustainable Security and Legacies” was held on 29 June as part of the Second Counter-Terrorism Week. The event was co-organized with the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), and the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) to launch the United Nations Global Guide on the Security of Major Sporting Events: Promoting Sustainable Security & Legacies.
The Guide was prepared in close consultation with the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and with the contributions of various Members States, international and regional organizations, sports associations, the private sector and academia.
The virtual event was attended by representatives from Member States, international and regional organizations, and United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact entities. Discussions featured interventions from national focal points nominated to secure Member States’ engagement with the Global Programme on the Security of Major Sporting Events, and Promotion of Sport and Its Values as a Tool to Prevent Violent Extremism launched in 2020, as well as representatives of international organizations and sport federations who welcomed the new Guide as a key and up-to-date reference for the accurate security planning of any event, including major sporting events.
During his welcoming remarks, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Counter-Terrorism, Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, highlighted that “sporting events are not solely targeted because they are attended by large groups of people, but also because they represent what terrorists aim to destroy in our societies and across the world: human dignity, peaceful coexistence and high ideals.”
Mr. Taehyun Cho, representative of the Republic of Korea’s National Counter-Terrorism Center within the Office of the Prime Minister emphasized that “Sport is the ultimate form of communication tool regardless of culture, religion, and race. Safeguarding it is just as important as we value the freedom of speech”.
Mr. Christian Emeruwa, Head of Security of the Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF), organizer of the 2022 Africa cup of Nations stressed that “CAF is honored to be part of this historic milestone providing the needed strong guidance to major sport security organizations among countries” and commended UNOCT and its partners for such initiative.”
ICSS Senior Manager, Ms. Carol Jimenez emphasized that “the Guide addresses the complexity, risks, requirements and opportunities that organising a Major Sporting Event implies to the host country and to the international community, specifically from a security perspective. It is about sustainability and legacy, about leadership and cooperation across sectors.”
The United Nations Global Guide is a significant milestone in UNOCT’s and its co-implementing partners’ UNICRI, UNAOC and the ICSS efforts and commitment to raising awareness about terrorist threats to vulnerable targets and enhancing Member States’ capacities to counter these threats by providing them with concrete, evidence-based guidance for the security of major sporting events. The Guide will be available in all six United Nations official languages. The Global Programme is made possible by generous funding from the State of Qatar, the People’s Republic of China through the United Nations Peace and Development Trust Fund, and the Republic of Korea, among others.