24 January 2006 - –On his way to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland later this week, United
Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today visited major athletic organizations to continue to promote
sports for peace and development.
the past we talked of ping-pong diplomacy,
today we talk of cricket diplomacy,”Mr.
the press after meeting with International
Olympic Committee President Jacques
Rogge in Lausanne, referring to the
softening of relations between India
and Pakistan through that game.
“I don’t know what else you are going to give us, Mr. Rogge, but what is important is that you are
putting sports in the service of peace and development,”he added.
Speaking to Olympics staff, the Secretary-General said that governments have begun to take the
potential of sports seriously, following the designation of 2005 as the International Year of Sports and
Physical Education and other such initiatives.
As one sign of that, the General Assembly has supported the revival of the ancient concept of the
Olympic Truce and has urged all countries to observe the truce during the Winter Olympics in Turin, he
Annan also visited the Zurich headquarters
of the International Football Federation
(FIFA), where he and FIFA President
Joseph Blatter reiterated their support
for the societal benefits of football
“I can’t think of a single sport that
has a capacity of bringing so many
people together and getting them for
90 minutes to forget their worries,”Mr.
“I’ve seen societies that have been
divided for that brief moment forget
their divisions and they become one
nation, one people sharing for their
people and nation to do things.
Davos, Mr. Annan will continue the
sports theme at the opening media
lunch on the subject of “The Impact
of Sports in the World.
Also while in Davos, at a plenary session of the World Economic Forum, he will deliver a speech
entitled: “A New Mindset for the United Nations.
Mr. Annan’s travel plans also include a stop at The Hague, for a meeting of the UN Development
Programme (UNDP), and in London, for meetings on the Middle East peace process and the future of