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SPORT FOR DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE THE UN SYSTEM IN ACTION

The UN and the Italian Swimming Federation Partner for Water Preservation

20 January 2012
2012.01.20_UNRIC-Italy-WaterPolo_680x300.jpg
© Giorgio Scala

The UN and the Italian Swimming Federation are now partners in the Europe-wide ad competition and campaign “Drop by Drop” following the sport body’s enthusiastic acceptance of acting as a testimonial in the world of sport on the theme of preservation of water.

In the run-up to Rio+20, while the UNRIC-led information campaign on water powers ahead, the Italian Water Polo team, current holder of the world title won in Shanghai (China) last year, put their muscular strength behind a UN leading global message. Meeting in Eindhoven – where the Water Polo European Championships are unfolding, featuring Italy as one of the favourite squads for the title – the azzurri  welcomed a delegation from UNRIC Brussels, posing for a picture portraying the “The Future We Want: Drop by Drop” banner, which invites people from forty-eight European countries to create a slogan that inspires others to preserve water.

“We are proud for having been chosen by the United Nations to represent this awareness campaign on water preservation”, said Lorenzo Ravina, Head of the Italian delegation, meeting with UNRIC, “The Italian Swimming Federation, in particular through its rescue section, has always encouraged the culture of water and whatever, not only sport-wise, is linked to it. Training of lifeguards supervising the safety and rescue of swimmers, surfers, and other water sports participants, is for example one of our core activities.”

Sandro Campagna, former Olympic champion and coach of Italy’s team, bolstered up the concept. “We embraced the cooperation with UNRIC with enthusiasm. Water is our natural element. It is our duty to contribute to highlight the principles disciplining its preservation. We therefore want to thank the UN for this unique opportunity it gave us”, he commented during the training session that followed the official picture.

UNRIC, which spent the whole day with the team and its management, expanded on its campaigns and activity with two key national media outlets covering the event: in a live TV interview with RAI, the state-owned broadcasting network , and with Gazzetta dello Sport, Italy’s most read newspaper. This was the opportunity to explain that UNRIC has increasingly drawn from the wide array of its interlocutors in the civil society to promote its messages and increase awareness of public at large on today’s global crucial themes.

“The world of sport in particular is a powerful catalyst for achieving its objectives, in particular the Millennium Development Goals, and developing a culture of peace and development.  The United Nations can make full use of this cost-efficient tool to help us create a better world”, UNRIC stressed quoting the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s words.

They were echoed by the Italian waterpolo representative when he expressed his certainty that, “through our humble contribution, the UN is set to win its challenge: spread awareness about the value and importance of water throughout the world”.


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