20 June 2005

In Joint Message With IOC President, Secretary-General Calls for Re-Dedication to Goals of Community Service, Human Advancement, Universal Peace

NEW YORK, 17 June (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the joint message of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Dr. Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee, on the occasion of the Olympic Day Run and the commemoration of the International Year of Sport and Physical Education, 23 June 2005:

The United Nations and the International Olympic Committee share fundamental ideals such as tolerance, fair play and equal rights.

In this International Year of Sport and Physical Education, UN agencies, the International Olympic Committee and a variety of sports entities are working together to harness the great power of sport to change peoples’ lives for the better.

In recent years, the world has seen many examples of how sport can build self-esteem, leadership skills, community spirit and bridges across ethnic or communal divides.  We have seen how well-designed sport programmes can be catalysts for economic growth, and cost-effective ways to improve health and education -- for young people in particular.  Sport also offers endless opportunities for innovative partnerships between international organizations, civil society groups, private sector businesses and others.

On this Olympic Day, when millions of people around the world will take the traditional run to mark the birth of the modern Olympics, we call on the sporting community to re-dedicate itself to the goals of service to the community, the advancement of humankind and universal peace.

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