Secretary-General's remarks at press event at International Olympic Committee Headquarters
Lausanne, Switzerland, 17 June 2014
Thank you, Mr. President of the International Olympic Committee.
Merci, Monsieur le Président, pour votre accueil. Je suis très heureux d’être ici, dans les magnifiques locaux du siège du Comité international olympique, partenaire de choix de l’Organisation des Nations Unies.
Since President [Thomas] Bach has been explaining all about what we have been discussing since my arrival today, that also comprises, rightly, it explains what we have been working on together in the past many months since he has taken the leadership of this IOC. It is a great privilege and honour for me and for the United Nations to forge such a strong partnership, working together through sports to promote the peace and development, and in broader, promote the humanity, working for humanity.
I highly commend the leadership and vision of President Bach as the new President of IOC to work together with the United Nations.
The partnership between the United Nations and IOC has been much strengthened, and elevated, and solidified, and deepened, in line with the Olympic motto – the faster, the stronger and the higher. This is what we are now aiming to achieve.
And thank you for your very kind words. You call me a champion. I will try to be a gold champion. I don’t know what level of medal my championship may be, but I will try to be a gold medal champion in working together with the IOC for peace and development and human rights and peace.
As we look ahead together, I know that our partnership will provide an important contribution to the United Nations’ work on the post-2015 development agenda – and we will also continue our common dialogue with respect to IOC’s 2020 Agenda and its new strategic areas.
I am impressed by the success of the Youth Olympic Games and the IOC’s Youth Strategy to encourage fitness. This is critical to combating non-communicable diseases.
The IOC has been a leading example for safeguarding the environment. We look forward to working with you to ensure that sustainable development is a key priority for the hosting of future Olympic Games. This is a right vision, a right vision in the future Olympic movement.
As you know, I was honoured myself to participate in both Olympic Games [ceremonies] recently - the 2012 London Summer Games and the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. On both occasions I was honoured to carry the Olympic torch. Last time in Sochi, together with President Bach, I was running and carrying this flame with a very strong commitment as a contribution to carry this flame for peace and development and human rights, for world peace, bringing the hope to many people who are in need of our support.
In that regard, I saw again how sports in general, and the Olympic movement in particular, have a unique ability to unite people and enhance mutual understanding among peoples. I believe that the upcoming Olympic winter games in PyeongChang in 2018 in Korea, my home country, will provide the opportunity to promote peace and dialogue on the Korean peninsula.
I sincerely hope also that these intra-Asian games where the athletes of DPRK have confirmed their participation, will also promote mutual friendship and reconciliation between the South and North Korea.
Sport has a unique and extraordinary power to unite people, in some cases spontaneously. This is a power and so we need to use this power and means of sport for humanity - peace, development and human rights.
The United Nations will take strength from the Olympic motto. We look forward to working with the IOC to bolster our partnership – faster, higher and stronger.
And I thank you very much for your strong support and cooperation and I count on your leadership.
Thank you very much.
Off-the-Cuff on 17 June 2014