|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Secretary-General, at Olympic Youth Development Centre in Zambian Capital,
Says Such Facilities Can Help Build Self-esteem, Knowledge, Skills
Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at the Olympic Youth Development Centre in Lusaka on 25 February:
Hello, Zambia! Hello, youth of Zambia! You are all champions. I wish I could give you a gold medal.
Do you want to hear my dull speech now? [cheers] Okay, let me begin.
Last May, in Geneva, I spoke at the second International Forum on Sport, Peace and Development. I invited Dr. [International Olympic Committee President Jacques] Rogge to join me on a visit to an African country. I wanted to further strengthen the very close ties between our two organizations. And so we are here today at this impressive Youth Centre in Lusaka. I am very inspired to be in this Youth Olympic Development Centre together with Dr. Rogge.
Congratulations again to Chipolopolo. I didn’t know that the Chipolopolo would win the first Africa Cup of Nations title in the country’s history. But we did know that sport is a wonderful way to bring people together. Congratulations again.
I thank President Rogge for establishing this sports facility of Zambia and for the Olympic Movement’s work on behalf of peace and development. You are the hope; you are the leaders of tomorrow.
Together, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the United Nations have revived the ancient concept of observing an Olympic Truce and we are working as partners. Many UN organizations have joint programmes with the IOC. Leading Olympic athletes are among our Goodwill Ambassadors, championing the work of the United Nations.
But unfortunately, none yet are from Zambia. I am thinking of having Esther Phiri as a Goodwill Ambassador. What about that? [cheers]
Sport goes beyond promoting excellence in game. It provides a healthier lifestyle for all of you, young people — a top priority of mine, a top priority for the United Nations.
Young people want education, jobs, dignity, opportunity. That is why I pledge that the United Nations will not rest in helping countries to deliver on education, skills, training, sports and job-rich growth for young people. Centres like this can help in providing and supporting young people to have self-esteem, knowledge and skills for the future we want.
I wish all the best to the people of Zambia, particularly the young people. Have a big dream and a big hope. And be a leader of tomorrow. And shape this world as you want.
* *** *For information media • not an official record