14 November 2005

Qatar Partners with United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

New Global Sport Fund Promotes Prevention of Drug Abuse and Crime

VIENNA, 14 November (UN Information Service) -- Qatar today pledged to contribute US$2.5 million to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime  (UNODC) for the establishment of a Global Sport Fund to help prevent vulnerable young people from being sucked into crime and drug abuse.

The agreement, the first of its kind, follows consultations held in 2003 between UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa, and His Highness Heir Apparent, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani.

"It is a great honour for Qatar to host the Global Sport Fund established by UNODC. This is an opportunity to team up and to help young people around the world learn the benefits of a healthy life style," Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani said after meeting Mr. Costa in Doha.

The contribution will underwrite a new partnership between UNODC and the Qatar National Olympic Committee, designed to promote sports activities among young people as a means of preventing drug abuse and crime worldwide.

In addition to organizing training events and supporting youth groups, the Global Sport Fund will also explore crime prevention strategies aimed at young people, conduct regional seminars for sport federations, government personnel, and others, and design drug-prevention activities involving sports. 

 "We expect that this programme will benefit street children who are at risk of becoming involved in crime or vulnerable to exploitation and also teach them that friendships can be forged across religious, ethnic and national boundaries," Mr. Costa said. "Qatar is breaking new ground with its generous support for this enterprise."

The agreement, under which the Qatar National Olympic Committee will provide offices for the Global Sport Fund at its premises in Doha, was signed by His Excellency Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdulrahamn Al-Thani, Secretary General of the Qatar National Olympic Committee, and Mr. Costa.

The negotiations were conducted between the Secretary General of the Qatar National Olympic Committee and UNODC. Other donors will be encouraged to provide additional funding and the first group of funded projects will be announced on June 26, 2006 during the annual International Day against Drug Abuse.


For further information, contact:

Mohamed Al-Mulla, UNODC
Tel: (43+1) 26060 5404
Mobile: +43 699 1459 7033
Email: mohamed.al-mulla@unodc.org


Kathleen Millar
Deputy Spokesperson, UNODC
Tel: (43+1) 26060 5629
Mobile: +43 699 1459 5629
Email: kathleen.millar@unodc.org