Success for the first IOC Sport and Peace Seminar in the Middle East
Role of the IOC in sport and peace”. ”Olympic Truce – Myth or Reality?” “Can sport really build peace?” These questions and others were discussed during the first IOC Seminar on Sport and Peace for the Middle East, hosted in Aqaba by the Jordanian Olympic Committee.
Building bridges and partnerships
The Seminar strived to achieve the following objectives:
- Bring together the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) of the Middle East and North Africa region and other sports institutions to discuss what sport and peace can do to help create communication bridges between communities
- Define areas of possible partnerships among institutions at national and regional levels and encourage the implementation of joint activities
- Strengthen the sport and peace network in the Middle East, in particular with the support of the Sport and Peace Foundation of the Jordanian NOC President, HRH Prince Faisal bin Al-Hussein
It speaks for itself that this seminar brought together representatives of 17 NOCs from the Middle East and North Africa region as well as prominent guests and speakers, including Prince Faisal bin Al-Hussein; IOC members Toni Khoury – who represented the IOC President, Jacques Rogge – and General Mounir Sabet; as well as David Winiger, Special Assistant to Adolf Ogi, Special Adivsor to the United Nations Secretary General on Sport for Development and Peace; and Tomas Sithole, IOC Director of International Cooperation and Development.
Main subject on their agenda: the role that sport can play in helping to unite conflicting communities. The seminar was also an occasion for Prince bin Al-Hussein to present his initiative Peace through Sport which aims to train youth leaders from areas of conflict on how to use sport as an agent for peace within their own divided communities.
The Seminar was concluded with final recommendations in which delegates highlighted the need for sport and peace issues to be placed higher on the international agenda of sports organisations and government entities. Furthermore, they supported the IOC’s idea to organise Youth Olympic Games as a new platform to promote the Olympic Truce and Olympic values to the world’s youth. The delegates also urged the NOCs to work with their respective governments to encourage the use of sport as a peace building tool.
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