I am pleased to convey my greetings to all those gathered for the 2nd EPICS Forum focused on the theme ‘Sport Meets Art and Culture.’ I applaud the Gwangju Universiade 2015 Organizing Committee for its work.
This gathering provides an extraordinary opportunity to share ideas on building a more just, peaceful, and sustainable future through sport.
In my travels around the world, I have often seen how the power of sport can help fuel development and peace.
Sport provides a unique platform for communities and individuals to connect, inspire, motivate and educate. The global spirit of sport is also conveyed through many forms of art and culture.
That is why the United Nations supports drawing on all aspects of sport to promote social integration, deepen common values, and achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
As Secretary-General, I am determined to do even more to promote sport for development and peace. For example, we have strengthened our commitment to the message and the values of the Olympic Truce and we have also established a new day for sport.
April 6 is now officially the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. This Day highlights around the world the potential of sport to advance human rights, wipe our barriers and promote global solidarity.
The United Nations has signed a first-of-its-kind Memorandum of Understanding with the International Olympic Committee. I have expanded the responsibilities of my Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, Mr. Wilfried Lemke – and I have also appointed Honorary IOC President Jacques Rogge as my Special Envoy for Youth Refugees and Sport.
I applaud your efforts to come together to share your ideas and experiences on utilizing sport to enrich lives, uplift communities and build a better world.
I encourage you to continue harnessing the power of sport to help achieve equality, social inclusion, respect, and peace for all.
I wish you a valuable and rewarding Forum.