New York

28 April 2014

Secretary-General's remarks to the press in front of the Olympic Torches Display outside the Economic and Social Council Chamber

President of the IOC Thomas Bach,
Honorary President of the IOC,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The United Nations Secretariat and the International Olympic Movement have just signed the first-ever Memorandum of Understanding between our two organizations. 

This was a logical and historic step after years of ever closer collaboration in using sport to promote development and peace.

Thank you, President Bach, for your strong commitment to and leadership for the goals and values of the United Nations Charter and the IOC Charter.

Behind us are the Olympic torches that I have had the honour to carry – first in London in summer 2012, and then this past February at the Winter Games in Sochi.  As I have briefly introduced, I had an extraordinary honour of running together with President Bach, carrying the torch.  And we had what they called “flame kiss” and, with this, symbolically demonstrated our commitment to working together for peace, development and human rights all around the world.

I am also thrilled that a number of outstanding athletes who truly embody the positive values of sports are here with us as the special guests at the United Nations.  They show the power of sport and I thank them for supporting the work of the United Nations.

Sport has great power to bring people together. [It] has a rallying power [to] improve public health and promote teamwork and mutual respect.  The United Nations wants to tap the full potential of sport in our work to build a better world for all through sport.

Again, thank you, Mr. President, for your strong commitment and support and for working together with the United Nations to make this world better for all - more peaceful, more harmonious, and more developed.

Thank you.