United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and International Olympic Committee (OIC) President Thomas Bach today unveiled a cornerstone plaque to commemorate the United Nations-IOC partnership to build a United Nations staff recreation facility.
The ceremony marked the long-standing legacy of the United Nations-IOC collaboration and the IOC’s central role in spreading the acceptance of sport as a means to promote internationally agreed development goals.
Thanks to support from the International Olympic Committee and as a farewell token of Mr. Ban to recognize the contribution of United Nations staff, the recreation facility will be composed of an outdoor space complete with a multipurpose court and two pavilions on the North Lawn, as well as an indoor fitness facility located within Secretariat Building of the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
In 2015, a historic moment for sport and the Olympic Movement, sport was officially recognized as an “important enabler” of sustainable development and included in the United Nations 2030 Agenda.
By building such a facility, the United Nations and the IOC reconfirm their commitment to promote the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Exercise is a vital part of a healthy work-life balance,” said the Secretary-General at the ceremony. “It clears our heads; it refreshes us; it boosts creativity; and it helps us live longer lives in better mental and physical health. On a grander scale, exercise brings people together, promotes positive social change and empowers people, particularly women and girls.”
Today’s unveiling follows a number of other historical milestones that significantly reinforced the partnership between the IOC and the United Nations. Support to sport for development and peace projects on the ground and the Olympic Truce, acknowledged and promoted globally by the United Nations General Assembly are just a few examples of the cooperation between the two organizations.
“This facility symbolizes the partnership between the United Nations and the International Olympic Committee, and our shared commitment to advancing peace and development through sport,” the Secretary-General said.
Both the Secretary-General and the IOC President expressed hopes that the collaboration will continue to grow in the pursuit of global development and peace.