United Nation, New York, 23 May 2006 - The United Nations and the Institute for International Sport will launch a partnership at a festive ceremony at the United Nations in New York tomorrow to use sport as a means to promote peace and conflict resolution around the world. The United Nations New York Office of Sport for Development and Peace is the Institute’s partner in the initiative.
The ceremony on Wednesday, 24 May, from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm in the United Nations ECOSOC Chamber, will feature performances by scholar athletes and artists from around the world. A reception will follow.
The unique collaboration comes as the Institute, based at the University of Rhode Island, celebrates its 20th anniversary. The launch begins the one month countdown to the 2006 World Scholar Athlete Games, organized by the Institute, which will take place at the university campus in June.
"The UN is to be highly praised for recognizing that sport can be important vehicle for promoting peace around the world," said Dan Doyle, Founder and Executive Director of the Institute for International Sport. He called the collaboration "one of the most significant developments in the history of the Institute."
"We welcome this alliance with the Institute for International Sport," said Djibril Diallo, Director of the United Nations New York Office of Sport for Development and Peace. "The World Scholar Athlete Games offer a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness among young people about the power of sport to help make a better world."
The World Scholar-Athlete Games will take place from June 24 through July 2. Designed to foster friendships between future leaders of different nations, the Games will bring together approximately 2,000 high school-aged students from more than 180 countries for a week of friendly competition, cultural exchange, leadership training and serious discussion about important global issues. United Nations staff will help scholar-athletes prepare position papers on global issues, which they will later present at the United Nations.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton will deliver the keynote address at the Games on Monday, 26 June. Former U.S. Senator George Mitchell from Maine, currently chairing a committee investigating the use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs in major league baseball, will give the closing address.
The United Nations has increasingly recognized the value of sport, which holds great appeal among youth, as a tool in global efforts to attain the Millennium Development Goals -- the set of objectives adopted by all countries to be achieved by 2015. They cover the entire development spectrum – from education to the advancement of women and girls and the fight against HIV/AIDS and other diseases.
Visit: www.un.org/sport2006 and www.internationalsport.com/sa2006
Media accreditation: to cover the event at United Nations headquarters, journalists must obtain UN accreditation. Please visit: www.un.org/media/accreditation
For further information please contact:
Richard Leonard, United Nations New York Office of Sport for Development and Peace: firstname.lastname@example.org ; telephone 212 457 1254
Cynthia Stern, Institute for International Sport: email@example.com ; telephone: 401-521-2700 x 190; Cell phone: 401-474-0810